National: How Politics Could Put the Reliability of Future Elections at Risk | MIT Technology Review
Thanks to a lack of political will in Washington to fix election security problems, we’ll likely have the same fears that hackers will target our voting machines and voter databases on election day in 2020 that we had last fall. Advocates for election security and reliability say a bill that Republican leaders recently advanced in the U.S. House of Representatives would make it unlikely that a crucial nationwide upgrade of voting technology can be completed in time for the 2020 election. The House Administration Committee voted earlier this month to approve a bill that would eliminate the Elections Assistance Commission. The bill’s sponsor, Representative Gregg Harper of Mississippi, said the agency has “outlived its usefulness,” and that terminating it would save taxpayers $14 million. (Congress provided $9.6 million to the EAC in fiscal year 2016, according to the Congressional Research Service.) The bill’s opponents say that in fact the EAC has never been more necessary. They say eliminating the agency will create uncertainty and confusion among vendors and state election officials and delay the replacement of aging machines.