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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 10, 2019.
Election Security Act of 2019
This bill addresses election security through grant programs and requirements for voting systems and paper ballots.
The bill establishes requirements for voting systems, including that systems (1) use individual, durable, voter-verified paper ballots; (2) make a voter's marked ballot available for inspection and verification by the voter before the vote is cast; (3) ensure that individuals with disabilities are given an equivalent opportunity to vote, including with privacy and independence, in a manner that produces a voter-verified paper ballot; and (4) be manufactured in the United States.
The National Science Foundation must award grants to study, test, and develop accessible voter-verified paper ballot voting and best practices to enhance the accessibility of such voting for individuals with disabilities, for voters whose primary language is not English, and for voters with difficulties in literacy.
The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) must award grants to states to (1) replace certain voting systems, carry out voting system security improvements, and implement and model best practices for ballot design, ballot instructions, and the testing of ballots; and (2) conduct risk-limiting audits.
The bill provides for information sharing with states regarding threats to election infrastructure.
The Department of Homeland Security must issue a national strategy to protect against cyberattacks, influence operations, disinformation campaigns, and other activities that could undermine the security and integrity of democratic institutions.
The EAC must provide for the testing of voting system hardware and software and decertify such technology that does not meet guidelines.