July 06, 2017

Congress May End Funding for Voting Cybersecurity

Election Assistance Commission among cuts in 2018 FY budget

by Chris Thomas

Image via Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons Licence .

Buried deep in the “Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act” is a cut-off for funding of the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which enjoys the distinction of being the only federal agency charged with the cybersecurity of U.S. voting machines.

Why It Matters

The EAC was set up in 2002 in the Help America Vote Act to improve U.S. voting technology following the election-deciding recount in Florida in 2000. Since then it has served to set standards, improve, and safeguard the way that the United States conducts elections.

Critics of the commission call it “fluff” and a prime example of government waste. The AP notes that Republicans have “been introducing legislation to end the commission for years with little success.” A bill entitled “H.R.634 — Election Assistance Commission Termination Act” was introduced to Congress in January but has seen no action taken since February.

Supporters, meanwhile, point to the recent news that Russian hackers targeted voting systems in at least 21 states in the 2016 election cycle, citing that as ample reason to continue the commission’s work and funding.

Tell Congress What You Think!

Cuts to the EAC are but one of many policy issues in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act. Text RESIST to 50409 to tell your representatives what you think about this issue, or see what else is happening this week:

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