A bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Congressman Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) alongside Reps. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), Frank Lucas (R-OK), and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) to further secure voting systems across the country passed the U.S. House of Representatives today. H.R. 4990, the Election Technology Research Act of 2019, authorizes the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to conduct research on ways to improve and secure voting systems across the country.
“Election security is an issue essential to our democracy…” said Congressman Gonzalez. “With new threats facing our electoral systems, it is imperative that we continue to update our election laws and improve our election security by passing bipartisan election security legislation.”
In addition to promoting research on voting systems technologies and best practices, the Election Technology Research Act of 2019 encourages innovation on the state and local level to secure our election systems. The bill provides grant funding to establish a Center of Excellence in Election Systems and Elections Systems Research Center to promote the research and modernization of election practices through collaboration between universities, nonprofits, private organizations and state and local election officials. It also amends the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to update the definition of “voting systems” to match modern technology and directs NIST to develop voluntary standards for updated election security.