The RNLA submitted a letter to support H.R. 3412: The Election Security Assistance Act to Address the Nation’s Cyber-Security Needs in Elections. The letter states in part:
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.
You can view and download a copy of this letter in its entirety here.