Securing Our Elections

In a classified briefing for House lawmakers last week, a senior U.S. intelligence official revealed that the Russian government is once again attempting to interfere in the 2020 Presidential election.

The Kremlin is using the same playbook, but Washington still seems woefully unprepared.

Although election security became a front-burner issue in the wake of the 2016 election, it is a longstanding problem in America.

In the aftermath of the chaos surrounding the 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore, a debate ensued over the reliability and security of election infrastructure and technologies. To address these and many other issues, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which imposed new mandatory minimum election administration standards and created the Election Assistance Commission (EAC). 

But HAVA was never properly funded and now, America faces a whole slew of new threats–from states, terrorists and hackers–to our election system that Washington is ill-equipped to handle. Several vulnerabilities are conspiring to threaten the integrity of the 2020 elections including a lack of federal leadership, toothless federal election commissions, outdated payment formulas to states, opaque coordination between big tech companies and the federal government on election security, and gaps in voter verification standards.

The New Center believes that if states and the federal government want to work towards long-lasting reforms to strengthen American institutions and election security–without compromising state jurisdiction over elections–they could align behind the following solutions:

  • Restore the Role of White House Cybersecurity Coordinator and Establish an Election Security Coordinating Committee
  • Amend the Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
  • Change the Structure of the Election Assistance Commission and Federal Election Commission
  • Establish a Transparent Big Tech-Federal Government Election Security Coordination Process
  • Make it Easier for Americans to Obtain Photo ID

Click here to read the full “Securing Our Elections” paper.