House approves $500M for election security
The House approved $500 million in election security funding for states as part of an annual appropriations package that advanced mostly along party lines Friday.
The 2021 appropriations package included the money as part of funding for the Election Assistance Commission (EAC). The funds were part of a wider deal that also included funding for the departments of Defense, Energy, Justice, Commerce, Transportation, Health and Human Services, and Labor, among other measures.
The funds, which would be distributed by the EAC to states, are required to be used for replacing “direct-recording electronic” voting equipment with voting systems that use some form of paper ballots. States would only be allowed to use any remaining funds once they have certified to the EAC that all direct-recording election equipment has been replaced.
“The bill includes $500 million in election security grants to help states acquire resources and equipment to conduct safe, secure, and on time elections,” Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), the chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, said on the House floor ahead of the vote.
“This issue is especially relevant now, as states are currently facing the need to adjust their processes to accommodate conducting an election in the middle of a pandemic,” he added.