Congress provided $380 million in election security funding as part of its massive spending bill, a move that reflects the growing consensus in Washington that more needs to be done to ensure the integrity of America’s elections. The funding would go to the Election Assistance Commission, which then must distribute the funds to states within 45 days to replace aging voting machines, implement post-election audits, and provide cybersecurity training for state and local officials, among other election security related improvements. “In this challenging political time, this has to be seen as a win and a recognition that [election security] is an important responsibility,” Adam Ambrogi, the director of the Elections Program at the Democracy Fund, told Business Insider. “The federal government needs to aid the states. The states don’t have this money laying around.”
It’s the largest distribution of funds from the federal government to states in the area of election security since Congress passed the Help America Vote Act in 2002, which appropriated $4 billion in funds.
It’s also a sign that lawmakers are willing to confront the vulnerabilities in state election systems that voting technology experts and election officials have been warning about for months.