Bennie Thompson Wants $1 Billion to Protect U.S. Elections
Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the Ranking Member of the House Administration Committee and the Homeland Security Committee, has proposed legislation that would authorize more than $1 billion to protect voting infrastructure from foreign interference. The funds would go toward federal grants to help states replace outdated voting technology, train employees in cybersecurity, and conduct audits of elections to ensure the accuracy of their result. This is the latest push in Congress to address Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election through legislation and follows bipartisan efforts in the House and Senate to address election vulnerabilities and deter future foreign meddling. The bill stems from a task force convened by Thompson and Congressman Robert Brady (D-PA) to study U.S. election security. In addition to authorizing grants, the legislation would also trigger a number of actions at the federal level. Homeland Security would be required to “expand” aid to state election officials by expediting security clearances for these officials and starting risk and vulnerability assessments in states that ask for them within 90 days of the request. More here.