(SILVER SPRING, MD) – Following their visit to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland yesterday, Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) announced plans for a public forum on election security in Rockville, Maryland on May 22nd. Raskin serves on the Committee on House Administration, which oversees the EAC.
The EAC is the only federal agency charged with making elections more secure, accessible, accurate, and transparent. Raskin and Hoyer were instrumental in securing an additional $380 million in the recently-passed omnibus, essential funding that will help states secure their election systems and replace their most vulnerable voting machines. At the Election Assistance Commission headquarters on Thursday, Raskin and Hoyer met with EAC leadership and staff to discuss progress on the distribution of the $380 million in grants to states and received updates about states’ efforts to secure their election systems.
“We can’t have real democracy without elections, and we can’t have real elections without election security,” said Congressman Raskin. “In 2016, America saw the multiple threats that now bedevil our elections. I was proud to work with Whip Hoyer to secure a $380 million infusion for election security across the country. This forum will bring to light what election officials are doing to fortify American democracy against cyber-hacking and tampering and other new perils.”
“I was pleased to join Congressman Raskin to tour the Election Assistance Commission headquarters,” said Whip Hoyer. “I join in thanking the EAC for the hard work they are doing to help states ensure our elections are free, fair, secure, and accessible. I was proud to be the lead Democratic sponsor of the Help America Vote Act, which created the EAC to help states improve election administration. The EAC has never been more important than it is today, and that’s why I am committed to ensuring the EAC has the resources necessary to protect the integrity of our elections.”
The members also discussed cybersecurity practices with election technology vendors on Thursday. In a report issued earlier this year, the Congressional Task Force on Election Security noted that election vendors have little financial incentive to prioritize security and are not required to use cybersecurity best practices. The Task Force recommends requiring vendors to notify the EAC and the Department of Homeland Security about cyberattacks, and suggests that state contracts require vendors to secure their systems and notify state and local officials about cybersecurity incidents.
At the May 22nd forum, Raskin and Hoyer will join EAC officials and experts for a discussion about the state of our election systems, EAC’s efforts to help states secure their elections, and the need for Congressional action to protect our democracy from foreign interference. Additional details are below.
Election Security Forum
U.S. Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)
Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.)
Election Assistance Commission Chairman Tom Hicks
Center for American Progress Voting Rights Manager Danielle Root
Richard Montgomery High SchooL
250 Richard Montgomery Drive, Rockville, MD 20852
Tuesday, May 22nd at 7:00 p.m.
Peter Whippy, Peter.Whippy@mail.house.gov
Congressman Jamie Raskin represents Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, which includes Montgomery, Frederick, and Carroll counties. He is the Vice Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, a Senior Democratic Whip, and Freshman Representative to the House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee. He also serves on the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee and the Committee on House Administration.