Kilmer Votes to Support Election Security

Thursday, Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) voted to support H.R. 2722, the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act of 2019, an election security bill to provide funding for states to replace outdated and vulnerable voting equipment, mandate paper ballot voting systems and risk-limiting post-election audits, and implement cybersecurity requirements for election technology vendors and voting systems. The legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives 225-184.

“Securing our elections and protecting the integrity of our democracy isn’t a Republican or a Democrat issue – it’s an American issue,” said Rep. Kilmer. “Recent elections have made clear that Congress needs to act to ensure that our election infrastructure and technology are up to date and that we are providing state and local governments with the resources they need. Congress should also act on other election security bills, like the Honest Ads Act, to make it harder for foreign actors to use the internet to attack our democracy. The SAFE Act is a step in the right direction, and I urge the Senate to pass it and the President to sign it into law.”

The SAFE Act will:

  • Require voting systems to use individual, durable, voter-verified paper ballots – to protect elections from manipulation;
  • Expand risk-limiting audits, equipping states with the systems needed to ensure the accuracy of the vote tallies in an efficient manner;
  • Authorize $1.3 billion through Fiscal Year 2026 for Election Security Assistance grants to assist states in securing election infrastructure;
  • Foster accountability for election technology vendors by creating a “qualified election infrastructure vendor” designation and cyber security deadlines; and
  • Implement cyber security safeguards to protect our systems from attack, including prohibition on wireless communications devises and a prohibition on election system internet connectivity.

A section-by-section analysis of the SAFE Act can be found here.

The SAFE Act is supported by Common Cause, People for the American Way, End Citizens United Action Fund, Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, NAACP, and Public Citizen.

Earlier this year, Rep. Kilmer introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to help prevent foreign interference in future elections and improve the transparency of online political advertisements. The Honest Ads Act would ensure online political advertisements are better monitored by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and would enable the FEC to enact rules for online advertisement similar to those in place for television, radio, and satellite ads, with the goal of making clear to the American public who is funding these online ads and to inhibit foreign actors from purchasing them.