Congressman Leonard Lance

Representing the 7th District of New Jersey

Lance Backs Secure Elections Act

Sep 7, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) is now the first New Jersey lawmaker cosponsoring the Secure Elections Act – legislation to continue protecting and securing election infrastructure and voting from foreign interference.  

Russian entities are not backing down from their efforts to divide this country and sow distrust and confusion.  Critical election security funds, including $380 million for states to boost election infrastructure and another $300 million for the FBI to combat Russian cyberattacks – are already signed into law and allocated to state elections officials, including New Jersey.  We need to do more to protect our essential democratic process.  The Secure Elections Act should pass both chambers and be signed into law as soon as possible.  I strongly oppose the reported efforts to delay this legislation and have added my name as a cosponsor in support,” said Lance.      

Lance was an early signer on the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (H.R. 3364), which codified sanctions on Russia and further sanctioned the Russia government for election interference.  CAATSA was signed into law last year.  The Secure Elections Act streamlines cybersecurity information-sharing between federal intelligence entities and state election agencies and provide security clearances to state election officials.  It also requires adequate post-election auditing procedures so each election can be double-checked and verified.

Lance voted for and successfully secured legislative language in the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2018 which mandated the U.S. Election Assistance Commission administer federal grants through the 2018 Help America Vote Act Election Security Grant Program.  The purpose of a grant award is to assist states with activities to improve the administration of elections, including to enhance election technology and make election security improvements in accordance with the bipartisan Help America Vote Act

New Jersey has earned $10 million in funding.  The resources can be used for the following items:

• Replace voting equipment that only records a voter’s intent electronically with equipment that utilizes a voter verified paper record;

• Implement a post-election audit system that provides a high level of confidence in the accuracy of the final vote tally;

• Upgrade election-related computer systems to address cyber vulnerabilities identified through Department of Homeland Security or similar scans or assessments of existing election systems;

• Facilitate cybersecurity training for the state chief election official’s office and local election officials; and

• Implement establishing cybersecurity best practices for election systems and other activities that will improve the security of elections for federal office.