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House Bill Seeks to Classify Election Systems as Critical Infrastructure

Three House Democratic lawmakers have introduced a bill that would classify election systems as critical infrastructure in an effort to protect U.S. elections from future international cyber attacks.

The Securing America’s Future Elections Act was introduced in response to Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential elections, Rep. Mark Pocan’s (D-Wisconsin) office said in a release published Thursday.

The SAFE Act would require the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute for Standards and Technology to develop cybersecurity standards for private contractors that work on U.S. election systems.

The proposed legislation would reauthorize the Election Assistance Commission for a 10-year period, direct DHS to start annual assessments of election systems in 2018 and require corresponding paper ballots for all electronic voting equipment.

The bill also aims to authorize funds to update cyber standards for voting software and related systems and ensure cybersecurity for all databases used in voter registration.

Pocan proposed the SAFE Act with Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) and Hank Johnson (D-Georgia).

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