Text: H.R.1562 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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[H.R. 1562 Introduced in House (IH)]

<DOC>






115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1562

 To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to improve the security of 
   the information technology used to administer voter registration 
 procedures and elections for Federal office, to promote the accuracy 
and integrity of the results of such elections, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             March 16, 2017

   Mr. Pocan (for himself, Mr. Ellison, and Mr. Johnson of Georgia) 
 introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 
  House Administration, and in addition to the Committee on Science, 
 Space, and Technology, for a period to be subsequently determined by 
the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall 
           within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to improve the security of 
   the information technology used to administer voter registration 
 procedures and elections for Federal office, to promote the accuracy 
and integrity of the results of such elections, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Secure America's 
Future Elections Act'' or the ``SAFE Act''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
  TITLE I--DESIGNATION OF ELECTION ADMINISTRATION SYSTEMS AS CRITICAL 
                             INFRASTRUCTURE

Sec. 101. Sense of Congress regarding election administration security 
                            as a matter of national security.
Sec. 102. Designation of election administration systems as critical 
                            infrastructure for homeland security 
                            purposes.
 TITLE II--SECURITY OF VOTING SYSTEMS AND VOTER REGISTRATION PROCESSES

Sec. 201. Assistance to States for information technology security 
                            upgrades to voter registration and election 
                            administration processes.
Sec. 202. Requiring voting systems to meet cybersecurity standards.
       TITLE III--ACCURACY, SECURITY, AND INTEGRITY OF ELECTIONS

 Subtitle A--Promoting Accuracy, Integrity, and Security Through Voter-
                    Verified Permanent Paper Ballot

Sec. 301. Paper ballot and manual counting requirements.
Sec. 302. Accessibility and ballot verification for individuals with 
                            disabilities.
Sec. 303. Durability and readability requirements for ballots.
Sec. 304. Effective date for new requirements.
   Subtitle B--Requirement for Mandatory Manual Audits by Hand Count

Sec. 311. Mandatory manual audits.
                 ``Subtitle C--Mandatory Manual Audits

        ``Sec. 321. Requiring audits of results of elections.
        ``Sec. 322. Number of ballots counted under audit.
        ``Sec. 323. Process for administering audits.
        ``Sec. 324. Selection of precincts.
        ``Sec. 325. Publication of results.
        ``Sec. 326. Payments to States.
        ``Sec. 327. Exception for elections subject to recount under 
                            State law prior to certification.
        ``Sec. 328. Effective date.
Sec. 312. Availability of enforcement under Help America Vote Act of 
                            2002.
Sec. 313. Guidance on best practices for alternative audit mechanisms.
Sec. 314. Clerical amendment.
      TITLE IV--REAUTHORIZATION OF ELECTION ASSISTANCE COMMISSION

Sec. 401. Reauthorization of Election Assistance Commission.

  TITLE I--DESIGNATION OF ELECTION ADMINISTRATION SYSTEMS AS CRITICAL 
                             INFRASTRUCTURE

SEC. 101. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING ELECTION ADMINISTRATION SECURITY 
              AS A MATTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY.

    It is the sense of Congress that protecting the security and 
integrity of the administration of elections for public office, 
including the security of the information technology processes used to 
carry out voter registration and to operate voting systems, is a 
critical element of national security.

SEC. 102. DESIGNATION OF ELECTION ADMINISTRATION SYSTEMS AS CRITICAL 
              INFRASTRUCTURE FOR HOMELAND SECURITY PURPOSES.

    (a) Designation.--The Secretary of Homeland Security, acting 
through the Assistant Secretary of the National Protection and Programs 
Directorate, shall designate the infrastructure used to administer 
elections for public office, including storage facilities, polling 
places, vote tabulation locations, voter databases (including online 
voter registration databases), voting machines, and other systems that 
manage the election process, as critical infrastructure.
    (b) Critical Infrastructure Defined.--In this section, the term 
``critical infrastructure'' has the meaning given such term in section 
1016 of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2001 (42 U.S.C. 
5195c).

 TITLE II--SECURITY OF VOTING SYSTEMS AND VOTER REGISTRATION PROCESSES

SEC. 201. ASSISTANCE TO STATES FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SECURITY 
              UPGRADES TO VOTER REGISTRATION AND ELECTION 
              ADMINISTRATION PROCESSES.

    (a) Authorization of Funding.--Section 257(a) of the Help America 
Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21007(a)) is amended by adding at the end 
the following new paragraph:
            ``(5) For each of the fiscal years 2018 through 2027, such 
        sums as may be necessary for such payments, except that a State 
        may use a requirement payment made with funds authorized under 
        this paragraph solely to carry out activities to upgrade the 
        security of the information technology and cybersecurity 
        elements of the voting systems used in the State and the 
        information technology and cybersecurity elements of the 
        State's voter registration lists (including online voter 
        registration databases) and voter registration processes, 
        including activities necessary to meet the requirements of 
        section 303(a)(3) (relating to the technological security of 
        the State's computerized voter registration list).''.
    (b) Waiver of 5 Percent Match Requirement.--Section 253(b)(5) of 
such Act (52 U.S.C. 21003(b)(5)) is amended--
            (1) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``subparagraph (B)'' 
        and inserting ``subparagraphs (B) and (C)''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
            ``(C) Subparagraph (A) shall not apply for purposes of 
        determining the eligibility of a State to receive a 
        requirements payment appropriated pursuant to the authorization 
        provided under section 257(a)(5) of this title for fiscal year 
        2018.''.

SEC. 202. REQUIRING VOTING SYSTEMS TO MEET CYBERSECURITY STANDARDS.

    (a) Requirement.--Section 301(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 
2002 (52 U.S.C. 21081(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following 
new paragraph:
            ``(7) Cybersecurity standards.--
                    ``(A) Establishment of standards by secretary of 
                homeland security and nist.--Not later than 1 year 
                after the date of the enactment of this paragraph, the 
                Secretary of Homeland Security (hereafter referred to 
                as the `Secretary') and the Director of the National 
                Institute of Standards and Technology (hereafter 
                referred to as the `Director'), working jointly, shall 
                establish standards to ensure the cybersecurity of the 
                components of voting systems, including the software 
                used to operate such systems, and to ensure the 
                security of the manufacturing processes for such 
                components.
                    ``(B) Notification of security breaches.--The 
                Secretary and the Director shall include in such 
                standards a requirement that the manufacturer of a 
                voting system or any component of a voting system whose 
                information and information systems have been the 
                subject of an incident of unauthorized access, use, 
                disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction 
                submit a report to the Commission immediately upon 
                discovering the incident.
                    ``(C) Updates.--The Secretary and the Director 
                shall, working jointly, regularly update such standards 
                to take into account developments in voting system 
                technology and the emergence of new threats to the 
                security of such systems.
                    ``(D) Compliance required.--A State or jurisdiction 
                may not use a voting system or any component of a 
                voting system in an election for Federal office unless 
                the manufacturer of the system or component certifies 
                to the State or jurisdiction that the system meets the 
                most recent cybersecurity standards established by the 
                Secretary and the Director under this paragraph.''.
    (b) Effective Date.--Section 301(d) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 
21081(d)) is amended to read as follows:
    ``(d) Effective Date.--
            ``(1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), 
        each State and jurisdiction shall be required to comply with 
        the requirements of this section on and after January 1, 2006.
            ``(2) Special rule for cybersecurity standards.--The 
        requirements of paragraph (7) of subsection (a) (relating to 
        cybersecurity standards) shall apply with respect to the 
        regularly scheduled general elections for Federal office held 
        in November 2018 and each succeeding election for Federal 
        office.''.

       TITLE III--ACCURACY, SECURITY, AND INTEGRITY OF ELECTIONS

 Subtitle A--Promoting Accuracy, Integrity, and Security Through Voter-
                    Verified Permanent Paper Ballot

SEC. 301. PAPER BALLOT AND MANUAL COUNTING REQUIREMENTS.

    (a) In General.--Section 301(a)(2) of the Help America Vote Act of 
2002 (52 U.S.C. 21081(a)(2)) is amended to read as follows:
            ``(2) Paper ballot requirement.--
                    ``(A) Voter-verified paper ballots.--
                            ``(i) Paper ballot requirement.--(I) The 
                        voting system shall require the use of an 
                        individual, durable, voter-verified, paper 
                        ballot of the voter's vote that shall be marked 
                        and made available for inspection and 
                        verification by the voter before the voter's 
                        vote is cast and counted, and which shall be 
                        counted by hand or read by an optical character 
                        recognition device or other counting device. 
                        For purposes of this subclause, the term 
                        `individual, durable, voter-verified, paper 
                        ballot' means a paper ballot marked by the 
                        voter by hand or a paper ballot marked through 
                        the use of a nontabulating ballot marking 
                        device or system, so long as the voter shall 
                        have the option to mark his or her ballot by 
                        hand.
                            ``(II) The voting system shall provide the 
                        voter with an opportunity to correct any error 
                        on the paper ballot before the permanent voter-
                        verified paper ballot is preserved in 
                        accordance with clause (ii).
                            ``(III) The voting system shall not 
                        preserve the voter-verified paper ballots in 
                        any manner that makes it possible, at any time 
                        after the ballot has been cast, to associate a 
                        voter with the record of the voter's vote 
                        without the voter's consent.
                            ``(ii) Preservation as official record.--
                        The individual, durable, voter-verified, paper 
                        ballot used in accordance with clause (i) shall 
                        constitute the official ballot and shall be 
                        preserved and used as the official ballot for 
                        purposes of any recount or audit conducted with 
                        respect to any election for Federal office in 
                        which the voting system is used.
                            ``(iii) Manual counting requirements for 
                        recounts and audits.--(I) Each paper ballot 
                        used pursuant to clause (i) shall be suitable 
                        for a manual audit, and shall be counted by 
                        hand in any recount or audit conducted with 
                        respect to any election for Federal office.
                            ``(II) In the event of any inconsistencies 
                        or irregularities between any electronic vote 
                        tallies and the vote tallies determined by 
                        counting by hand the individual, durable, 
                        voter-verified, paper ballots used pursuant to 
                        clause (i), and subject to subparagraph (B), 
                        the individual, durable, voter-verified, paper 
                        ballots shall be the true and correct record of 
                        the votes cast.
                            ``(iv) Application to all ballots.--The 
                        requirements of this subparagraph shall apply 
                        to all ballots cast in elections for Federal 
                        office, including ballots cast by absent 
                        uniformed services voters and overseas voters 
                        under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens 
                        Absentee Voting Act and other absentee voters.
                    ``(B) Special rule for treatment of disputes when 
                paper ballots have been shown to be compromised.--
                            ``(i) In general.--In the event that--
                                    ``(I) there is any inconsistency 
                                between any electronic vote tallies and 
                                the vote tallies determined by counting 
                                by hand the individual, durable, voter-
                                verified, paper ballots used pursuant 
                                to subparagraph (A)(i) with respect to 
                                any election for Federal office; and
                                    ``(II) it is demonstrated by clear 
                                and convincing evidence (as determined 
                                in accordance with the applicable 
                                standards in the jurisdiction involved) 
                                in any recount, audit, or contest of 
                                the result of the election that the 
                                paper ballots have been compromised (by 
                                damage or mischief or otherwise) and 
                                that a sufficient number of the ballots 
                                have been so compromised that the 
                                result of the election could be 
                                changed,
                        the determination of the appropriate remedy 
                        with respect to the election shall be made in 
                        accordance with applicable State law, except 
                        that the electronic tally shall not be used as 
                        the exclusive basis for determining the 
                        official certified result.
                            ``(ii) Rule for consideration of ballots 
                        associated with each voting machine.--For 
                        purposes of clause (i), only the paper ballots 
                        deemed compromised, if any, shall be considered 
                        in the calculation of whether or not the result 
                        of the election could be changed due to the 
                        compromised paper ballots.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment Clarifying Applicability of Alternative 
Language Accessibility.--Section 301(a)(4) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 
21081(a)(4)) is amended by inserting ``(including the paper ballots 
required to be used under paragraph (2))'' after ``voting system''.
    (c) Other Conforming Amendments.--Section 301(a)(1) of such Act (52 
U.S.C. 21081(a)(1)) is amended--
            (1) in subparagraph (A)(i), by striking ``counted'' and 
        inserting ``counted, in accordance with paragraphs (2) and 
        (3)'';
            (2) in subparagraph (A)(ii), by striking ``counted'' and 
        inserting ``counted, in accordance with paragraphs (2) and 
        (3)'';
            (3) in subparagraph (A)(iii), by striking ``counted'' each 
        place it appears and inserting ``counted, in accordance with 
        paragraphs (2) and (3)''; and
            (4) in subparagraph (B)(ii), by striking ``counted'' and 
        inserting ``counted, in accordance with paragraphs (2) and 
        (3)''.

SEC. 302. ACCESSIBILITY AND BALLOT VERIFICATION FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH 
              DISABILITIES.

    (a) In General.--Section 301(a)(3)(B) of the Help America Vote Act 
of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21081(a)(3)(B)) is amended to read as follows:
                    ``(B)(i) satisfy the requirement of subparagraph 
                (A) through the use of at least one voting system 
                equipped for individuals with disabilities, including 
                nonvisual and enhanced visual accessibility for the 
                blind and visually impaired, and nonmanual and enhanced 
                manual accessibility for the mobility and dexterity 
                impaired, at each polling place; and
                    ``(ii) meet the requirements of subparagraph (A) 
                and paragraph (2)(A) by using a system that--
                            ``(I) allows the voter to privately and 
                        independently verify the permanent paper ballot 
                        through the presentation, in accessible form, 
                        of the printed or marked vote selections from 
                        the same printed or marked information that 
                        would be used for any vote counting or 
                        auditing; and
                            ``(II) allows the voter to privately and 
                        independently verify and cast the permanent 
                        paper ballot without requiring the voter to 
                        manually handle the paper ballot; and''.
    (b) Specific Requirement of Study, Testing, and Development of 
Accessible Paper Ballot Verification Mechanisms.--
            (1) Study and reporting.--Subtitle C of title II of such 
        Act (52 U.S.C. 21081 et seq.) is amended--
                    (A) by redesignating section 247 as section 248; 
                and
                    (B) by inserting after section 246 the following 
                new section:

``SEC. 247. STUDY AND REPORT ON ACCESSIBLE PAPER BALLOT VERIFICATION 
              MECHANISMS.

    ``(a) Study and Report.--The Director of the National Science 
Foundation shall make grants to not fewer than 3 eligible entities to 
study, test, and develop accessible paper ballot voting, verification, 
and casting mechanisms and devices and best practices to enhance the 
accessibility of paper ballot voting and verification mechanisms for 
individuals with disabilities, for voters whose primary language is not 
English, and for voters with difficulties in literacy, including best 
practices for the mechanisms themselves and the processes through which 
the mechanisms are used.
    ``(b) Eligibility.--An entity is eligible to receive a grant under 
this part if it submits to the Director (at such time and in such form 
as the Director may require) an application containing--
            ``(1) certifications that the entity shall specifically 
        investigate enhanced methods or devices, including non-
        electronic devices, that will assist such individuals and 
        voters in marking voter-verified paper ballots and presenting 
        or transmitting the information printed or marked on such 
        ballots back to such individuals and voters, and casting such 
        ballots;
            ``(2) a certification that the entity shall complete the 
        activities carried out with the grant not later than July 1, 
        2018; and
            ``(3) such other information and certifications as the 
        Director may require.
    ``(c) Availability of Technology.--Any technology developed with 
the grants made under this section shall be treated as non-proprietary 
and shall be made available to the public, including to manufacturers 
of voting systems.
    ``(d) Coordination With Grants for Technology Improvements.--The 
Director shall carry out this section so that the activities carried 
out with the grants made under subsection (a) are coordinated with the 
research conducted under the grant program carried out by the 
Commission under section 271, to the extent that the Director and 
Commission determine necessary to provide for the advancement of 
accessible voting technology.
    ``(e) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out subsection (a) $5,000,000, to remain 
available until expended.''.
            (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of contents of such Act 
        is amended--
                    (A) by redesignating the item relating to section 
                247 as relating to section 248; and
                    (B) by inserting after the item relating to section 
                246 the following new item:

``Sec. 247. Study and report on accessible paper ballot verification 
                            mechanisms.''.
    (c) Clarification of Accessibility Standards Under Voluntary Voting 
System Guidance.--In adopting any voluntary guidance under subtitle B 
of title III of the Help America Vote Act with respect to the 
accessibility of the paper ballot verification requirements for 
individuals with disabilities, the Election Assistance Commission shall 
include and apply the same accessibility standards applicable under the 
voluntary guidance adopted for accessible voting systems under such 
subtitle.
    (d) Permitting Use of Funds for Protection and Advocacy Systems To 
Support Actions To Enforce Election-Related Disability Access.--Section 
292(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21062(a)) is 
amended by striking ``; except that'' and all that follows and 
inserting a period.

SEC. 303. DURABILITY AND READABILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR BALLOTS.

    Section 301(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 
21081(a)), as amended by section 202(a), is further amended by adding 
at the end the following new paragraph:
            ``(8) Durability and readability requirements for 
        ballots.--
                    ``(A) Durability requirements for paper ballots.--
                            ``(i) In general.--All voter-verified paper 
                        ballots required to be used under this Act 
                        shall be marked or printed on durable paper.
                            ``(ii) Definition.--For purposes of this 
                        Act, paper is `durable' if it is capable of 
                        withstanding multiple counts and recounts by 
                        hand without compromising the fundamental 
                        integrity of the ballots, and capable of 
                        retaining the information marked or printed on 
                        them for the full duration of a retention and 
                        preservation period of 22 months.
                    ``(B) Readability requirements for paper ballots 
                marked by ballot marking device.--All voter-verified 
                paper ballots completed by the voter through the use of 
                a ballot marking device shall be clearly readable by 
                the voter without assistance (other than eyeglasses or 
                other personal vision enhancing devices) and by an 
                optical character recognition device or other device 
                equipped for individuals with disabilities.''.

SEC. 304. EFFECTIVE DATE FOR NEW REQUIREMENTS.

    Section 301(d) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 
21081(d)), as amended by section 202(b), is further amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``Except as provided in 
        paragraph (2)'' and inserting ``Except as provided in 
        paragraphs (2) and (3)''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
            ``(3) Special rule for certain requirements.--
                    ``(A) In general.--Except as provided in 
                subparagraphs (B) and (C), the requirements of this 
                section which are first imposed on a State and 
                jurisdiction pursuant to the amendments made by title 
                III of the Secure America's Future Elections Act shall 
                apply with respect to voting systems used for the 
                regularly scheduled general elections for Federal 
                office held in 2018 and any succeeding election for 
                Federal office.
                    ``(B) Delay for jurisdictions using certain paper 
                record printers or certain systems using or producing 
                voter-verifiable paper records in 2016.--
                            ``(i) Delay.--In the case of a jurisdiction 
                        described in clause (ii), subparagraph (A) 
                        shall apply to a voting system in the 
                        jurisdiction as if the reference in such 
                        subparagraph to `2018' were a reference to 
                        `2020', but only with respect to the following 
                        requirements of this section:
                                    ``(I) Paragraph (2)(A)(i)(I) of 
                                subsection (a) (relating to the use of 
                                voter-marked paper ballots).
                                    ``(II) Paragraph (3)(B)(ii)(I) and 
                                (II) of subsection (a) (relating to 
                                access to verification from and casting 
                                of the durable paper ballot).
                                    ``(III) Paragraph (8) of subsection 
                                (a) (relating to durability and 
                                readability requirements for ballots).
                            ``(ii) Jurisdictions described.--A 
                        jurisdiction described in this clause is a 
                        jurisdiction--
                                    ``(I) which used voter verifiable 
                                paper record printers attached to 
                                direct recording electronic voting 
                                machines, or which used other voting 
                                systems that used or produced paper 
                                records of the vote verifiable by 
                                voters but that are not in compliance 
                                with paragraphs (2)(A)(i)(I), 
                                (3)(B)(ii)(I) and (II), and (8) of 
                                subsection (a) (as amended or added by 
                                the Secure America's Future Elections 
                                Act), for the administration of the 
                                regularly scheduled general election 
                                for Federal office held in November 
                                2016; and
                                    ``(II) which will continue to use 
                                such printers or systems for the 
                                administration of elections for Federal 
                                office held in years before 2020.
                            ``(iii) Mandatory availability of paper 
                        ballots at polling places using grandfathered 
                        printers and systems.--
                                    ``(I) Requiring ballots to be 
                                offered and provided.--The appropriate 
                                election official at each polling place 
                                that uses a printer or system described 
                                in clause (ii)(I) for the 
                                administration of elections for Federal 
                                office shall offer each individual who 
                                is eligible to cast a vote in the 
                                election at the polling place the 
                                opportunity to cast the vote using a 
                                blank pre-printed paper ballot which 
                                the individual may mark by hand and 
                                which is not produced by the direct 
                                recording electronic voting machine or 
                                other such system. The official shall 
                                provide the individual with the ballot 
                                and the supplies necessary to mark the 
                                ballot, and shall ensure (to the 
                                greatest extent practicable) that the 
                                waiting period for the individual to 
                                cast a vote is the lesser of 30 minutes 
                                or the average waiting period for an 
                                individual who does not agree to cast 
                                the vote using such a paper ballot 
                                under this clause.
                                    ``(II) Treatment of ballot.--Any 
                                paper ballot which is cast by an 
                                individual under this clause shall be 
                                counted and otherwise treated as a 
                                regular ballot for all purposes 
                                (including by incorporating it into the 
                                final unofficial vote count (as defined 
                                by the State) for the precinct) and not 
                                as a provisional ballot, unless the 
                                individual casting the ballot would 
                                have otherwise been required to cast a 
                                provisional ballot.
                                    ``(III) Posting of notice.--The 
                                appropriate election official shall 
                                ensure there is prominently displayed 
                                at each polling place a notice that 
                                describes the obligation of the 
                                official to offer individuals the 
                                opportunity to cast votes using a pre-
                                printed blank paper ballot.
                                    ``(IV) Training of election 
                                officials.--The chief State election 
                                official shall ensure that election 
                                officials at polling places in the 
                                State are aware of the requirements of 
                                this clause, including the requirement 
                                to display a notice under subclause 
                                (III), and are aware that it is a 
                                violation of the requirements of this 
                                title for an election official to fail 
                                to offer an individual the opportunity 
                                to cast a vote using a blank pre-
                                printed paper ballot.
                                    ``(V) Period of applicability.--The 
                                requirements of this clause apply only 
                                during the period in which the delay is 
                                in effect under clause (i).
                    ``(C) Special rule for jurisdictions using certain 
                nontabulating ballot marking devices.--In the case of a 
                jurisdiction which uses a nontabulating ballot marking 
                device which automatically deposits the ballot into a 
                privacy sleeve, subparagraph (A) shall apply to a 
                voting system in the jurisdiction as if the reference 
                in such subparagraph to `2018' were a reference to 
                `2020', but only with respect to paragraph 
                (3)(B)(ii)(II) of subsection (a) (relating to nonmanual 
                casting of the durable paper ballot).''.

   Subtitle B--Requirement for Mandatory Manual Audits by Hand Count

SEC. 311. MANDATORY MANUAL AUDITS.

    Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21081 et 
seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new subtitle:

                 ``Subtitle C--Mandatory Manual Audits

``SEC. 321. REQUIRING AUDITS OF RESULTS OF ELECTIONS.

    ``(a) Requiring Audits.--
            ``(1) In general.--In accordance with this subtitle, each 
        State shall administer, without advance notice to the precincts 
        or alternative audit units selected, audits of the results of 
        all elections for Federal office held in the State (and, at the 
        option of the State or jurisdiction involved, of elections for 
        State and local office held at the same time as such election) 
        consisting of random hand counts of the voter-verified paper 
        ballots required to be used and preserved pursuant to section 
        301(a)(2).
            ``(2) Exception for certain elections.--A State shall not 
        be required to administer an audit of the results of an 
        election for Federal office under this subtitle if the winning 
        candidate in the election--
                    ``(A) had no opposition on the ballot; or
                    ``(B) received 80 percent or more of the total 
                number of votes cast in the election, as determined on 
                the basis of the final unofficial vote count.
    ``(b) Determination of Entity Conducting Audits; Application of GAO 
Independence Standards.--The State shall administer audits under this 
subtitle through an entity selected for such purpose by the State in 
accordance with such criteria as the State considers appropriate 
consistent with the requirements of this subtitle, except that the 
entity must meet the general standards established by the Comptroller 
General and as set forth in the Comptroller General's Government 
Auditing Standards to ensure the independence (including, except as 
provided under section 323(b), the organizational independence) of 
entities performing financial audits, attestation engagements, and 
performance audits.
    ``(c) References to Election Auditor.--In this subtitle, the term 
`Election Auditor' means, with respect to a State, the entity selected 
by the State under subsection (b).

``SEC. 322. NUMBER OF BALLOTS COUNTED UNDER AUDIT.

    ``(a) In General.--Except as provided in subsection (b), the 
Election Auditor of a State shall, in accordance with this subtitle, 
administer a hand count of the voter-verified paper ballots cast with 
respect to an election in at least 5 percent of all precincts or 
equivalent locations (or alternative audit units used in accordance 
with the method provided for under subsection (b)) in the Congressional 
district involved (in the case of an election for the House of 
Representatives) or the State (in the case of any other election for 
Federal office).
    ``(b) Use of Alternative Mechanism.--
            ``(1) Permitting use of alternative mechanism.--
        Notwithstanding subsection (a), a State may adopt and apply an 
        alternative mechanism to determine the number of voter-verified 
        paper ballots which will be subject to the hand counts required 
        under this subtitle with respect to an election, so long as the 
        alternative mechanism uses the voter-verified paper ballots to 
        conduct the audit and the National Institute of Standards and 
        Technology determines that the alternative mechanism is in 
        accordance with the principles set forth in paragraph (2).
            ``(2) Principles for approval.--In approving an alternative 
        mechanism under paragraph (1), the National Institute of 
        Standards and Technology shall ensure that the audit procedure 
        will have the property that for each election--
                    ``(A) the alternative mechanism will be at least as 
                statistically effective in ensuring the accuracy of the 
                election results as the procedures under this subtitle; 
                or
                    ``(B) the alternative mechanism will achieve at 
                least a 95 percent confidence interval (as determined 
                in accordance with criteria set forth by the National 
                Institute of Standards and Technology) with respect to 
                the outcome of the election.
            ``(3) Deadline for response.--The Director of the National 
        Institute of Standards and Technology shall make a 
        determination regarding a State's request to approve an 
        alternative mechanism under paragraph (1) not later than 30 
        days after receiving the State's request.

``SEC. 323. PROCESS FOR ADMINISTERING AUDITS.

    ``(a) In General.--The Election Auditor of a State shall administer 
an audit under this section of the results of an election in accordance 
with the following procedures:
            ``(1) Within 24 hours after the State announces the final 
        unofficial vote count (as defined by the State) in each 
        precinct in the State, the Election Auditor shall--
                    ``(A) determine and then announce the precincts or 
                equivalent locations (or alternative audit units used 
                in accordance with the method provided under section 
                322(b)) in the State in which it will administer the 
                audits; and
                    ``(B) with respect to votes cast at the precinct or 
                equivalent location on or before the date of the 
                election (other than provisional ballots described in 
                paragraph (2)), begin to administer the hand count of 
                the votes on the voter-verified paper ballots required 
                to be used and preserved under section 301(a)(2)(A) and 
                the comparison of the count of the votes on those 
                ballots with the final unofficial count of such votes 
                as announced by the State.
            ``(2) With respect to votes cast other than at the precinct 
        on the date of the election (other than votes cast before the 
        date of the election described in paragraph (2)) or votes cast 
        by provisional ballot on the date of the election which are 
        certified and counted by the State on or after the date of the 
        election, including votes cast by absent uniformed services 
        voters and overseas voters under the Uniformed and Overseas 
        Citizens Absentee Voting Act, the Election Auditor shall 
        administer the hand count of the votes on the applicable voter-
        verified paper ballots required to be produced and preserved 
        under section 301(a)(2)(A) and the comparison of the count of 
        the votes on those ballots with the final unofficial count of 
        such votes as announced by the State.
    ``(b) Use of Personnel.--In administering the audits, the Election 
Auditor may utilize the services of the personnel of the State or 
jurisdiction, including election administration personnel and poll 
workers, without regard to whether or not the personnel have 
professional auditing experience.
    ``(c) Location.--The Election Auditor shall administer an audit of 
an election--
            ``(1) at the location where the ballots cast in the 
        election are stored and counted after the date of the election 
        or such other appropriate and secure location agreed upon by 
        the Election Auditor and the individual that is responsible 
        under State law for the custody of the ballots; and
            ``(2) in the presence of the personnel who under State law 
        are responsible for the custody of the ballots.
    ``(d) Special Rule in Case of Delay in Reporting Absentee Vote 
Count.--In the case of a State in which the final count of absentee and 
provisional votes is not announced until after the date of the 
election, the Election Auditor shall initiate the process described in 
subsection (a) for administering the audit not later than 24 hours 
after the State announces the final unofficial vote count for the votes 
cast at the precinct or equivalent location on or before the date of 
the election, and shall initiate the administration of the audit of the 
absentee and provisional votes pursuant to subsection (a)(2) not later 
than 24 hours after the State announces the final unofficial count of 
such votes.
    ``(e) Additional Audits if Cause Shown.--
            ``(1) In general.--If the Election Auditor finds that any 
        of the hand counts administered under this section do not match 
        the final unofficial tally of the results of an election, the 
        Election Auditor shall administer hand counts under this 
        section of such additional precincts (or alternative audit 
        units) as the Election Auditor considers appropriate to resolve 
        any concerns resulting from the audit and ensure the accuracy 
        of the election results.
            ``(2) Establishment and publication of procedures governing 
        additional audits.--Not later than August 1, 2018, each State 
        shall establish and publish procedures for carrying out the 
        additional audits under this subsection, including the means by 
        which the State shall resolve any concerns resulting from the 
        audit with finality and ensure the accuracy of the election 
        results.
    ``(f) Public Observation of Audits.--Each audit conducted under 
this section shall be conducted in a manner that allows public 
observation of the entire process.

``SEC. 324. SELECTION OF PRECINCTS.

    ``(a) In General.--Except as provided in subsection (c), the 
selection of the precincts or alternative audit units in the State in 
which the Election Auditor of the State shall administer the hand 
counts under this subtitle shall be made by the Election Auditor on a 
random basis, in accordance with procedures adopted by the National 
Institute of Standards and Technology, except that at least one 
precinct shall be selected at random in each county, with additional 
precincts selected by the Election Auditor at the Auditor's discretion.
    ``(b) Public Selection.--The random selection of precincts under 
subsection (a) shall be conducted in public, at a time and place 
announced in advance.
    ``(c) Mandatory Selection of Precincts Established Specifically for 
Absentee Ballots.--If a State does not sort absentee ballots by 
precinct and include those ballots in the hand count with respect to 
that precinct, the State shall create absentee ballot precincts or 
audit units which are of similar size to the average precinct or audit 
unit in the jurisdiction being audited, and shall include those 
absentee precincts or audit units among the precincts in the State in 
which the Election Auditor shall administer the hand counts under this 
subtitle.
    ``(d) Deadline for Adoption of Procedures by Commission.--The 
National Institute of Standards and Technology shall adopt the 
procedures described in subsection (a) not later than March 31, 2018, 
and shall publish them in the Federal Register upon adoption.

``SEC. 325. PUBLICATION OF RESULTS.

    ``(a) Submission to Commission.--As soon as practicable after the 
completion of an audit under this subtitle, the Election Auditor of a 
State shall submit to the Commission the results of the audit, and 
shall include in the submission a comparison of the results of the 
election in the precinct as determined by the Election Auditor under 
the audit and the final unofficial vote count in the precinct as 
announced by the State and all undervotes, overvotes, blank ballots, 
and spoiled, voided, or cancelled ballots, as well as a list of any 
discrepancies discovered between the initial, subsequent, and final 
hand counts administered by the Election Auditor and such final 
unofficial vote count and any explanation for such discrepancies, 
broken down by the categories of votes described in paragraphs (1)(B) 
and (2) of section 323(a).
    ``(b) Publication by Commission.--Immediately after receiving the 
submission of the results of an audit from the Election Auditor of a 
State under subsection (a), the Commission shall publicly announce and 
publish the information contained in the submission.
    ``(c) Delay in Certification of Results by State.--
            ``(1) Prohibiting certification until completion of 
        audits.--No State may certify the results of any election which 
        is subject to an audit under this subtitle prior to--
                    ``(A) to the completion of the audit (and, if 
                required, any additional audit conducted under section 
                323(e)(1)) and the announcement and submission of the 
                results of each such audit to the Commission for 
                publication of the information required under this 
                section; and
                    ``(B) the completion of any procedure established 
                by the State pursuant to section 323(e)(2) to resolve 
                discrepancies and ensure the accuracy of results.
            ``(2) Deadline for completion of audits of presidential 
        elections.--In the case of an election for electors for 
        President and Vice President which is subject to an audit under 
        this subtitle, the State shall complete the audits and announce 
        and submit the results to the Commission for publication of the 
        information required under this section in time for the State 
        to certify the results of the election and provide for the 
        final determination of any controversy or contest concerning 
        the appointment of such electors prior to the deadline 
        described in section 6 of title 3, United States Code.

``SEC. 326. PAYMENTS TO STATES.

    ``(a) Payments for Costs of Conducting Audits.--In accordance with 
the requirements and procedures of this section, the Commission shall 
make a payment to a State to cover the costs incurred by the State in 
carrying out this subtitle with respect to the elections that are the 
subject of the audits conducted under this subtitle.
    ``(b) Certification of Compliance and Anticipated Costs.--
            ``(1) Certification required.--In order to receive a 
        payment under this section, a State shall submit to the 
        Commission, in such form as the Commission may require, a 
        statement containing--
                    ``(A) a certification that the State will conduct 
                the audits required under this subtitle in accordance 
                with all of the requirements of this subtitle;
                    ``(B) a notice of the reasonable costs incurred or 
                the reasonable costs anticipated to be incurred by the 
                State in carrying out this subtitle with respect to the 
                elections involved; and
                    ``(C) such other information and assurances as the 
                Commission may require.
            ``(2) Amount of payment.--The amount of a payment made to a 
        State under this section shall be equal to the reasonable costs 
        incurred or the reasonable costs anticipated to be incurred by 
        the State in carrying out this subtitle with respect to the 
        elections involved, as set forth in the statement submitted 
        under paragraph (1).
            ``(3) Timing of notice.--The State may not submit a notice 
        under paragraph (1) until candidates have been selected to 
        appear on the ballot for all of the elections for Federal 
        office which will be the subject of the audits involved.
    ``(c) Timing of Payments.--The Commission shall make the payment 
required under this section to a State not later than 30 days after 
receiving the notice submitted by the State under subsection (b).
    ``(d) Recoupment of Overpayments.--No payment may be made to a 
State under this section unless the State agrees to repay to the 
Commission the excess (if any) of--
            ``(1) the amount of the payment received by the State under 
        this section with respect to the elections involved; over
            ``(2) the actual costs incurred by the State in carrying 
        out this subtitle with respect to the elections involved.
    ``(e) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to the Commission for fiscal year 2018 and each succeeding 
fiscal year $100,000,000 for payments under this section.

``SEC. 327. EXCEPTION FOR ELECTIONS SUBJECT TO RECOUNT UNDER STATE LAW 
              PRIOR TO CERTIFICATION.

    ``(a) Exception.--This subtitle does not apply to any election for 
which a recount under State law will commence prior to the 
certification of the results of the election, including but not limited 
to a recount required automatically because of the margin of victory 
between the 2 candidates receiving the largest number of votes in the 
election, but only if each of the following applies to the recount:
            ``(1) The recount commences prior to the determination and 
        announcement by the Election Auditor under section 323(a)(1) of 
        the precincts in the State in which it will administer the 
        audits under this subtitle.
            ``(2) If the recount would apply to fewer than 100 percent 
        of the ballots cast in the election--
                    ``(A) the number of ballots counted will be at 
                least as many as would be counted if an audit were 
                conducted with respect to the election in accordance 
                with this subtitle; and
                    ``(B) the selection of the precincts in which the 
                recount will be conducted will be made in accordance 
                with the random selection procedures applicable under 
                section 324.
            ``(3) The recount for the election meets the requirements 
        of section 323(f) (relating to public observation).
            ``(4) The State meets the requirements of section 325 
        (relating to the publication of results and the delay in the 
        certification of results) with respect to the recount.
    ``(b) Clarification of Effect on Other Requirements.--Nothing in 
this section may be construed to waive the application of any other 
provision of this Act to any election (including the requirement set 
forth in section 301(a)(2) that the voter verified paper ballots serve 
as the vote of record and shall be counted by hand in all audits and 
recounts, including audits and recounts described in this subtitle).

``SEC. 328. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    ``This subtitle shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled 
general elections for Federal office held in 2018 and any succeeding 
election for Federal office.''.

SEC. 312. AVAILABILITY OF ENFORCEMENT UNDER HELP AMERICA VOTE ACT OF 
              2002.

    Section 401 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21111) 
is amended by striking the period at the end and inserting the 
following: ``, or the requirements of subtitle C of title III.''.

SEC. 313. GUIDANCE ON BEST PRACTICES FOR ALTERNATIVE AUDIT MECHANISMS.

    (a) In General.--Not later than May 1, 2021, the Director of the 
National Institute for Standards and Technology shall establish 
guidance for States that wish to establish alternative audit mechanisms 
under section 322(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (as added by 
section 311). Such guidance shall be based upon scientifically and 
statistically reasonable assumptions for the purpose of creating an 
alternative audit mechanism that will be consistent with the principles 
for approval described in section 322(b)(2) of such Act (as so added).
    (b) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out subsection (a) $100,000, to remain available 
until expended.

SEC. 314. CLERICAL AMENDMENT.

    The table of contents of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 is 
amended by adding at the end of the items relating to title III the 
following:

                 ``Subtitle C--Mandatory Manual Audits

``Sec. 321. Requiring audits of results of elections.
``Sec. 322. Number of ballots counted under audit.
``Sec. 323. Process for administering audits.
``Sec. 324. Selection of precincts.
``Sec. 325. Publication of results.
``Sec. 326. Payments to States.
``Sec. 327. Exception for elections subject to recount under State law 
                            prior to certification.
``Sec. 328. Effective date.''.

      TITLE IV--REAUTHORIZATION OF ELECTION ASSISTANCE COMMISSION

SEC. 401. REAUTHORIZATION OF ELECTION ASSISTANCE COMMISSION.

    Section 210 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 20930) 
is amended--
            (1) by striking ``for each of the fiscal years 2003 through 
        2005'' and inserting ``for fiscal year 2003 and each succeeding 
        fiscal year''; and
            (2) by striking ``(but not to exceed $10,000,000 for each 
        such year)''.
                                 <all>