Feds Should Assist, Not Run Elections

While we are awaiting some big decisions by the Supreme Court and Democrats begin their Presidential debates, the House begins debate tomorrow on a very important issue: making our elections more secure.  While Democrats continue in their quest to Federalize elections, Republicans continue in their efforts to help states and localities secure their elections.  As a result RNLA will release the following letter tomorrow to Speaker Pelosi and Republican House leader McCarthy:


Dear Speaker Pelosi and Republican Leader McCarthy:

We appreciate your attention to efforts to secure our Nation’s election systems. A
core part of the Republican National Lawyers Association’s (RNLA) mission is to
advance open, fair, and honest elections.

We believe H.R. 2722, known as The SAFE Act, does not accomplish the public’s
demand for open, fair, and honest elections. H.R. 2722 places too much control in the
hands of the federal government. It takes away local autonomy over elections and
jeopardizes the power of states to craft solutions to threats and outside influence. The
independence of states and localities to carry out elections is a key component of our
federal constitutional system.

We would instead recommend H.R. 3412, The Election Security Assistance Act, as
introduced by Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis to
accomplish many of the goals expressed in H.R. 2722. H.R. 3412 better preserves the
autonomy of states and localities. The bill’s provisions strengthen cooperation between
local election administrators, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), and other
federal stakeholders. This legislation allows this by requiring federal elections officials
to share information on cyber-security threats and allowing local officials to obtain
security clearances.

H.R. 3412’s proposed creation of an “Election Cyber Assistance Unit” under the
auspices of the bipartisan EAC would further assist local elections officials in defending
from cyber-attacks without imposing a dangerous one-size-fits-all federal mandate. The
funding mechanisms contained in H.R. 3412 are appropriate as well; 25% of funding
must be matched by the states. This ensures states and localities have a vested interest in
updating their systems and are granted autonomy to preserve their Constitutional
obligation to administer their own elections.

We urge all members of the House to support Mr. Davis’s legislation. H.R. 3412 is a
positive step in that direction of the common goal of securing our elections.

The RNLA hopes the House will follow the lead of Rep. Davis and pass legislation that will help both Democrat and Republican election officials.  We fear that Democrats will ignore the wishes of local officials of both parties and pass legislation to further federalize elections.