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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 Jun 28, 2019.
Securing America's Federal Elections Act or the SAFE Act
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; (4) be manufactured in the United States; and (5) meet specified cybersecurity requirements, including the prohibition of the connection of a voting system to the internet.
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 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.
States must carry out postelection risk-limiting audits for all federal elections, funded by the EAC.
States may use elections requirements payments from the EAC to carry out activities related to election security.
The EAC must provide for the testing of voting system hardware and software and decertify such technology that does not meet guidelines.