New Jersey’s voting machines are among the nation’s most vulnerable to hacking, and state officials asked Congress for more money to protect their equipment. Republicans who run the show in Washington said no. Both the House and Senate declined to allocate millions of dollars in grants to states when they passed spending bills funding the Election Assistance Commission for the 12-month period beginning Oct. 1. “This is going to be an ongoing need and election officials are going to need a regular stream of funds to combat the threats and defend their systems,” said David Becker, executive director and founder of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, a Washington research group. … State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal sought more federal help. “I strongly believe that the federal government should be doing more, not less, to ensure our democratic institutions are free from foreign intrusion, and I’m disappointed that Congress disagrees,” he said.
Grewaland 20 other state attorneys general had written to key congressional Republicans last month, urging them to approve a new round of state grants.
“The existing Election Assistance Commission grants are simply insufficient to provide for the upgraded technology needed,” the attorneys general wrote. “More funding is essential to adequately equip states with the financial resources we need to safeguard our democracy and protect the data of voting members in our states.”
Republicans, though, said plenty of funds remained unspent.
“Most of that money is not yet out the door,” said U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., during Senate debate. “I believe it is far too early to add another quarter billion dollars.”