House Adopts Connolly Measure to Create State Grants for Election System Cyber Upgrades

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Washington, June 27, 2019 | comments
Today, the House of Representatives adopted a measure offered by Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Chairman of the House Government Operations subcommittee, that would provide federal grant funding to states to upgrade cybersecurity protections of their election systems. The measure was included in H.R. 2722 the Securing America’s Federal Elections Act, which passed the House 225-184 today.

“Safeguarding our election systems from cyberattacks and data breaches isn’t a partisan issue,” said Chairman Connolly. “This is about protecting the integrity of the ballot box, but states can’t do it alone. The federal government must be an active partner and I am pleased the House has included this innovative grant program that will provide a financial incentive to states to invest in cybersecurity upgrades.”

Modeled after the Department of Education’s successful Race to the Top program, this grant program would allow states to apply for funding to implement innovative cyber security upgrades. These upgrades include:

• The purchase of new election infrastructure.
• Risk mitigation training.
• A risk and vulnerability assessment of the State’s election infrastructure.
• The maintenance of election infrastructure, including addressing the risks and vulnerabilities identified in the risk assessment.
• Technical support for IT infrastructure.
• Enhancing the cybersecurity of voter registration systems.

The Connolly provision included in H.R. 2722 was first introduced as part of the FAST Voting Act, co-authored by Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI). Connolly also offered similar language as an amendment to H.R. 1.
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