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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 Feb 13, 2020.
Election Technology Research Act of 2019
This bill directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other agencies to support research on voting systems.
NIST, in collaboration with the NSF, must carry out research related to the security and integrity of voting systems.
NIST shall make an award to an institution of higher education or a nonprofit organization to establish a Center of Excellence in Election Systems.
The NSF, in collaboration with other agencies, shall award basic research grants to increase the understanding of cyber and other threats to voting systems and to inform the development of technologies, processes, and policies that contribute to more secure, fair, and accessible elections.
The NSF shall award grants to institutions of higher education or nonprofit organizations to establish at least one multidisciplinary center for elections systems research and education.
NIST shall establish and make available common data format specifications for auditing, voter registration, and other elements of voting systems.
The General Accountability Office must report on, among other things, the extent to which NIST's efforts to assist in the development of voluntary voting systems guidelines have resulted in market-ready standardized voting equipment and software.