Democrats' massive House bill to include election security measures

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House Democrats will include proposed cybersecurity measures in a massive bill due to be unveiled Friday as Congress begins a new session.

The bill, H.R. 1, includes an array of legislation, such as a plan to force all presidential nominees to disclose their tax returns, new campaign finance rules and changes to sexual harassment law. Cybersecurity also is a major component, as reports indicate H.R. 1 will repurpose much of the language from the Elections Security Act, proposed last year by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.

H.R. 1, known as the “For the People Act,” also would require states to replace paperless voting systems, create grants to help states audit their election results, and force election system vendors to report data breaches, according to the Brennan Center.

Last year’s version of the bill designated $1.7 billion for states to secure their voting technology and would have required the White House to create a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy, among other measures, according to the Washington Post. The legislation also would have increased funding for training and maintenance around U.S. voting systems, and required that election vendors disclose where their technology was manufactured.

The renewed attention on election security follows a consensus in the U.S. intelligence community that Russian cyberattacks sought to influence the 2016 presidential election. More recently, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced last month it experienced an intrusion in the run-up to the midterm elections.

“Now that there’s an acknowledgement that there’ve been some election security issues on both the Democratic and Republican sides, we need to get bipartisan support for some legislation to address it,” Rep. Thompson told the Washington Post last month.

Democrats are scheduled to unveil the For the People Act in a press conference Friday at 11:00 a.m. EST.

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Bennie Thompson, election security, H.R. 1, NRCC