Text: H.R.3751 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (09/12/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 3751 Introduced in House (IH)]

<DOC>






115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 3751

   To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to direct the Election 
 Assistance Commission to develop best practices for States to use to 
protect the integrity of elections for Federal office, to make election 
technology improvement grants to States for adopting and applying such 
 best practices in the administration of elections for Federal office, 
                        and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           September 12, 2017

  Mr. Meadows (for himself and Mr. Langevin) introduced the following 
bill; which was referred to the Committee on House Administration, and 
 in addition to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, 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 direct the Election 
 Assistance Commission to develop best practices for States to use to 
protect the integrity of elections for Federal office, to make election 
technology improvement grants to States for adopting and applying such 
 best practices in the administration of elections for Federal office, 
                        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.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Protecting the American Process for 
Election Results Act'' or the ``PAPER Act''.

SEC. 2. DEVELOPMENT OF BEST PRACTICES FOR PROTECTING INTEGRITY OF 
              FEDERAL ELECTIONS.

    (a) In General.--The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 20901 
et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 247 the following new 
section:

``SEC. 248. STUDY AND REPORT ON BEST PRACTICES FOR PROTECTING THE 
              INTEGRITY OF FEDERAL ELECTIONS AND FOR STORING AND 
              SECURING VOTER REGISTRATION DATA.

    ``(a) In General.--The Commission, in consultation with the 
National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Secretary of the 
Department of Homeland Security, the Election Assistance Commission 
Standards Board, the Election Assistance Commission Board of Advisors, 
the Election Assistance Commission Technical Guidelines Development 
Committee, the National Association of Secretaries of State, the 
National Association of State Election Directors, the National 
Association of Election Officials, the International Association of 
Government Officials, the National Association of State Chief 
Information Officers, the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis 
Center, and other stakeholders the Commission determines necessary, 
shall conduct a study on each of the following:
            ``(1) Best practices for cybersecurity of Federal 
        elections, including best practices for storing and securing 
        voter registration data.
            ``(2) Best practices for election audits, with the goal of 
        ensuring that--
                    ``(A) each vote cast in an election for Federal 
                office is accompanied by a paper record of the vote 
                that is visible to the voter and is retained by the 
                appropriate election official for a period sufficient 
                to conduct the audit described in subparagraph (B); and
                    ``(B) prior to the certification of the results of 
                any election for Federal office, appropriate election 
                officials conduct a manual audit of a random sample of 
                the paper records of the votes cast in the election, as 
                described in subparagraph (A), that provides high 
                statistical confidence in the results of the election.
    ``(b) Public Hearings.--In conducting each of the studies under 
this section, the Commission shall hold public hearings.
    ``(c) Issues Considered.--
            ``(1) Cybersecurity of federal elections, including best 
        practices for storing and securing voter registration data.--In 
        conducting the study under subsection (a)(1), the Commission 
        shall consider the following:
                    ``(A) The interference by foreign actors in the 
                2016 Federal election.
                    ``(B) The opinion of intelligence officials that 
                foreign states are likely to attempt to interfere in 
                future Federal elections.
                    ``(C) Election administration profiles based on the 
                cybersecurity framework of the National Institute of 
                Standards and Technology.
                    ``(D) Best practices for storing and securing voter 
                registration data.
                    ``(E) All components of election infrastructure, as 
                designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security, on 
                January 6, 2017, as a subsector of a critical 
                infrastructure sector (as defined in section 2001 of 
                the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 601)).
                    ``(F) The implications of the aging of voting 
                equipment on cybersecurity.
                    ``(G) Any existing Federal funding sources that may 
                be used to assist State and local governments to 
                improve election cybersecurity.
                    ``(H) Any related issues the Commission identifies 
                as necessary to complete a comprehensive study of best 
                practices for cybersecurity of Federal elections.
            ``(2) Election audits.--In conducting the study under 
        subsection (a)(2), the Commission shall consider the following:
                    ``(A) Public confidence in the administration of 
                Federal elections.
                    ``(B) Verifying the integrity of the election 
                process.
                    ``(C) Confirming the accuracy of results reported 
                by the voting system.
                    ``(D) Ensuring that the voting system is accurately 
                tabulating ballots.
                    ``(E) Ensuring that the winners of each election 
                for Federal office are called correctly.
                    ``(F) Current State requirements related to 
                election audits.
                    ``(G) Durational requirements needed to facilitate 
                an election audit prior to election certification, 
                including variations in the acceptance of postal 
                ballots and election certification deadlines.
                    ``(H) Administrative requirements and challenges 
                for various types of election audits.
                    ``(I) The potential to identify areas of 
                improvement in election administration using varying 
                types of election audits.
                    ``(J) The use of voting systems producing voter-
                verified paper ballots.
                    ``(K) Any related issues the Commission identifies 
                as necessary to complete a comprehensive study of best 
                practices for election audits.
    ``(d) Report and Recommendations.--Not later than the date that is 
6 months after the date of the enactment of this section, the 
Commission shall submit a report to the Committee on Rules and 
Administration of the Senate and the Committee on House Administration 
of the House of Representatives on each of the studies conducted under 
this section, together with recommendations with the matters described 
in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a).''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents for such Act is 
amended by inserting after the item relating to section 247 the 
following new item:

``Sec. 248. Study and report on best practices for protecting the 
                            integrity of Federal elections and for 
                            storing and securing voter registration 
                            data.''.

SEC. 3. ELECTION TECHNOLOGY IMPROVEMENT GRANTS.

    (a) In General.--The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 20901 
et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new title:

           ``TITLE X--ELECTION TECHNOLOGY IMPROVEMENT GRANTS

``SEC. 1001. ELECTION TECHNOLOGY IMPROVEMENT GRANTS.

    ``(a) In General.--The Commission shall make a payment in an amount 
determined under section 1002 to each State which meets the conditions 
described in section 1003.
    ``(b) Use of Funds.--
            ``(1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), a 
        State receiving payment under this title shall use the 
        payment--
                    ``(A) in the case of a State that has undergone a 
                Security Risk an Vulnerability Assessment from the 
                Department of Homeland Security with respect to the 
                State's election system, to address any recommendations 
                or vulnerabilities resulting from such assessment, and
                    ``(B) to implement the recommendations of the 
                Commission under section 248(d) in accordance with the 
                plan developed under section 1003.
        In the case of a State described in subparagraph (A), no amount 
        of the payment received under this title may be used for any 
        purpose described in subparagraph (B) before the date the State 
        submits a State plan that meets the requirements of section 
        1003(b)(1)(A).
            ``(2) Other activities.--A State may use a payment under 
        this title to carry out other activities to improve the 
        administration of elections for Federal office if the State 
        certifies to the Commission that--
                    ``(A) the State has implemented the recommendations 
                of the Commission under section 248(d);
                    ``(B) the State will use any remaining funds to 
                improve, upgrade, or acquire new technological 
                equipment related to election administration, which may 
                include--
                            ``(i) voting machines;
                            ``(ii) election management systems;
                            ``(iii) electronic poll books;
                            ``(iv) online voter registration systems;
                            ``(v) participation in the Electronic 
                        Registration Information Center;
                            ``(vi) accessible voting equipment; and
                            ``(vii) other technological upgrades 
                        identified by the Commission in the studies 
                        conducted under section 248(a); and
                    ``(C) the State has appropriated funds for carrying 
                out such activities in an amount equal to 10 percent of 
                the total amount to be spent for such activities 
                (taking into account the payment under this section and 
                the amount spent by the State).
        No amount of the payment received under this title may be used 
        for any purpose described in this paragraph before the date the 
        State submits the certification described in section 
        1003(b)(1)(C).
            ``(3) Prohibition on use for voting machines not producing 
        voter-verified paper ballots.--
                    ``(A) In general.--None of the payments provided 
                under this title may be used for any voting system that 
                does not produce a voter-verified paper ballot.
                    ``(B) Exception.--Subparagraph (A) shall not apply 
                to any payment used for the purposes described in 
                paragraph (1)(A).

``SEC. 1002. ALLOCATION OF FUNDS.

    ``(a) In General.--Subject to subsection (c), the amount of a 
payment made to a State under this title shall be equal to the product 
of--
            ``(1) the total amount appropriated for payments pursuant 
        to the authorization under section 1007; and
            ``(2) the State allocation percentage for the State (as 
        determined under subsection (b)).
    ``(b) State Allocation Percentage Defined.--The `State allocation 
percentage' for a State is the amount (expressed as a percentage) equal 
to the quotient of--
            ``(1) the voting age population of the State (as reported 
        in the most recent decennial census); and
            ``(2) the total voting age population of all States (as 
        reported in the most recent decennial census).
    ``(c) Minimum Amount of Payment.--The amount of a payment made to a 
State under this section may not be less than--
            ``(1) in the case of any of the several States or the 
        District of Columbia, one-half of 1 percent of the total amount 
        appropriated for payments under this title under section 1007; 
        or
            ``(2) in the case of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, 
        American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, 
        or the United States Virgin Islands, one-tenth of 1 percent of 
        such total amount.
    ``(d) Pro Rata Reductions.--The Commission shall make such pro rata 
reductions to the allocations determined under subsection (a) as are 
necessary to comply with the requirements of subsection (c).
    ``(e) Continuing Availability of Funds After Appropriation.--A 
payment to a State under this title shall be available to the State 
without fiscal year limitation.

``SEC. 1003. CONDITION FOR RECEIPT OF FUNDS.

    ``(a) In General.--A State is eligible to receive a payment under 
this title if the chief executive officer of the State, or designee, in 
consultation and coordination with the chief State election official, 
has filed with the Commission a statement certifying that the State is 
in compliance with the requirements referred to in subsection (b). A 
State may meet the requirement of the previous sentence by filing with 
the Commission a statement which reads as follows: `______ hereby 
certifies that it is in compliance with the requirements referred to in 
section 1003(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002.' (with the blank 
to be filled in with the name of the State involved).
    ``(b) State Plan Requirement; Certification of Compliance With 
Applicable Laws and Requirements.--
            ``(1) In general.--The requirements referred to in this 
        subsection are as follows:
                    ``(A) The State has filed with the Commission a 
                State plan which the State certifies--
                            ``(i) contains each of the elements 
                        described in section 1004;
                            ``(ii) is developed in accordance with 
                        section 1005; and
                            ``(iii) meets the public notice and comment 
                        requirements of section 1006.
                    ``(B) The State is in compliance with each of the 
                laws described in section 906, as such laws apply with 
                respect to this Act.
                    ``(C) To the extent that any portion of the payment 
                is used for activities other than implementing the 
                recommendations of the Department of Homeland Security 
                in connection with a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment 
                described in section 1001(b)(1)(A) or the 
                recommendations of the Commission under section 
                248(d)--
                            ``(i) the State's proposed uses of the 
                        payment are not inconsistent with such 
                        recommendations; and
                            ``(ii) the use of the funds under this 
                        subparagraph is consistent with the 
                        requirements of section 1001(b)(2)(B).
            ``(2) Special rule for requirements with respect to risk 
        and vulnerability assessments.--In the case of a State that has 
        undergone a Security Risk an Vulnerability Assessment from the 
        Department of Homeland Security with respect to the State's 
        election system, paragraph (1) shall not apply and the State 
        shall be treated as having met the requirements of this 
        subsection if the State has met the requirement of paragraph 
        (1)(B) and has filed with the Commission a State plan which 
        contains the elements described in section 1004 with respect to 
        the recommendations of the Department of Homeland Security with 
        respect to such assessment.
    ``(c) Methods of Compliance Left to Discretion of State.--The 
specific choices on the methods of complying with the elements of a 
State plan shall be left to the discretion of the State.
    ``(d) Timing for Filing of Certification.--
            ``(1) In general.--A State may not file a statement of 
        certification under subsection (a) until the expiration of the 
        45-day period which begins on the date the State plan under 
        this section has been published on both the website of the 
        chief State election official and the website of the Election 
        Assistance Commission pursuant to section 1005(b).
            ``(2) Exception for risk and vulnerability assessment 
        matters.--Paragraph (1) shall not apply to any part of plan 
        which is developed in connection with addressing 
        recommendations of the Department of Homeland Security in 
        connection with a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment described 
        in section 1001(b)(1)(A).
    ``(e) Chief State Election Official Defined.--In this title, the 
`chief State election official' of a State is the individual designated 
by the State under section 10 of the National Voter Registration Act of 
1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg-8) to be responsible for coordination of the 
State's responsibilities under such Act.

``SEC. 1004. STATE PLAN.

    ``(a) In General.--The State plan shall contain a description of 
each of the following:
            ``(1) How the State will use the payment under this title--
                    ``(A) to implement--
                            ``(i) any recommendations of the Department 
                        of Homeland Security in connection with a Risk 
                        and Vulnerability Assessment described in 
                        section 1001(b)(1)(A), if applicable; and
                            ``(ii) the recommendations of the 
                        Commission under section 248(d); and
                    ``(B) if applicable under section 1001(b)(2), to 
                carry out other activities to improve the 
                administration of elections.
            ``(2) How the State will distribute and monitor the 
        distribution of the payment to units of local government or 
        other entities in the State for carrying out the activities 
        described in paragraph (1), including a description of--
                    ``(A) the criteria to be used to determine the 
                eligibility of such units or entities for receiving the 
                payment; and
                    ``(B) the methods to be used by the State to 
                monitor the performance of the units or entities to 
                whom the payment is distributed, consistent with the 
                performance goals and measures adopted under paragraph 
                (3).
            ``(3) How the State will adopt performance goals and 
        measures that will be used by the State to determine its 
        success and the success of units of local government in the 
        State in carrying out the plan, including timetables for 
        meeting each of the elements of the plan, descriptions of the 
        criteria the State will use to measure performance and the 
        process used to develop such criteria, and a description of 
        which official is to be held responsible for ensuring that each 
        performance goal is met.
            ``(4) How the State will conduct ongoing management of the 
        plan, except that the State may not make any material change in 
        the administration of the plan unless the change--
                    ``(A) is developed and published on the website of 
                the chief State election official and the website of 
                the Election Assistance Commission in accordance with 
                section 1005 in the same manner as the State plan;
                    ``(B) is subject to public notice and comment in 
                accordance with section 1006 in the same manner as the 
                State plan; and
                    ``(C) takes effect only after the expiration of the 
                30-day period which begins on the date the change has 
                been published on both the website of the chief State 
                election official and the website of the Election 
                Assistance Commission.
            ``(5) A description of the committee which participated in 
        the development of the State plan in accordance with section 
        1005 and the procedures followed by the committee under such 
        section and section 1006.
Paragraphs (5) and (6) shall not apply to any part of a plan which 
pertains to addressing recommendations of the Department of Homeland 
Security in connection with a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment 
described in section 1001(b)(1)(A).
    ``(b) Protection Against Actions Based on Information in Plan.--
            ``(1) In general.--No action may be brought under this Act 
        against a State or other jurisdiction on the basis of any 
        information contained in the State plan filed under this title.
            ``(2) Exception for criminal acts.--Paragraph (1) may not 
        be construed to limit the liability of a State or other 
        jurisdiction for criminal acts or omissions.

``SEC. 1005. PROCESS FOR DEVELOPMENT AND FILING OF PLAN; PUBLICATION BY 
              COMMISSION.

    ``(a) Development of Plan.--The chief State election official shall 
develop the State plan under this title through a committee of 
appropriate individuals, including the chief election officials of the 
two most populous jurisdictions within the State, other local election 
officials, stake holders, and other citizens, appointed for such 
purpose by the chief State election official.
    ``(b) Publication of Plan by Commission.--After receiving the State 
plan of a State under this title, the Commission shall cause to have 
the plan published on both the website of the chief State election 
official and the website of the Election Assistance Commission.

``SEC. 1006. REQUIREMENT FOR PUBLIC NOTICE AND COMMENT.

    ``For purposes of section 1003(b)(1)(C), a State plan meets the 
public notice and comment requirements of this section if--
            ``(1) not later than 30 days prior to the submission of the 
        plan, the State made a preliminary version of the plan 
        available for public inspection and comment;
            ``(2) the State publishes notice that the preliminary 
        version of the plan is so available; and
            ``(3) the State took the public comments made regarding the 
        preliminary version of the plan into account in preparing the 
        plan which was filed with the Commission.

``SEC. 1007. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    ``(a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated such 
sums as are necessary for payments under this title for fiscal years 
2018 and 2019.
    ``(b) Availability.--Any amounts appropriated pursuant to the 
authority of subsection (a) shall remain available without fiscal year 
limitation until expended.

``SEC. 1008. REPORTS.

    ``Not later than 6 months after the end of the fiscal year for 
which a State received a payment under this title, the State shall 
submit a report to the Commission on the activities conducted with the 
funds provided, and shall include in the report--
            ``(1) a list of expenditures made with respect to each 
        category of activities described in section 1001(b); and
            ``(2) an analysis and description of the activities funded 
        under this title to meet the requirements of this title and an 
        analysis and description of how such activities conform to the 
        State plan under section 1004.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents of such Act is 
amended by adding at the end the following:

           ``TITLE X--ELECTION TECHNOLOGY IMPROVEMENT GRANTS

``Sec. 1001. Election technology improvement grants.
``Sec. 1002. Allocation of funds.
``Sec. 1003. Condition for receipt of funds.
``Sec. 1004. State plan.
``Sec. 1005. Process for development and filing of plan; publication by 
                            Commission.
``Sec. 1006. Requirement for public notice and comment.
``Sec. 1007. Authorization of appropriations.
``Sec. 1008. Reports.''.

SEC. 4. CONTRACTING ASSISTANCE.

    (a) In General.--The Administrator of the General Services 
Administration, in consultation with the Director of the National 
Institute of Standards and Technology, shall take such actions as may 
be necessary through competitive processes--
            (1) to qualify a set of private sector organizations which 
        are capable of providing cybersecurity services to States to 
        secure their election systems and infrastructure from cyber 
        attacks;
            (2) to establish contract vehicles to enable States to 
        access the services of one or more of such private sector 
        organizations as soon as payments are made under title X of the 
        Help America Vote Act of 2002, as added by section 3;
            (3) to ensure that such contract vehicles permit individual 
        States to augment Federal funds with funding otherwise 
        available to the States; and
            (4) to provide a list of qualified organizations to the 
        Election Assistance Commission in order to ensure it is readily 
        available to State election officials.
    (b) State Defined.--In this section, the term ``State'' means each 
of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of 
Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the United States Virgin 
Islands.

SEC. 5. INFORMATION SHARING WITH STATE ELECTION OFFICIALS.

    (a) Security Clearance.--
            (1) Expediting provision of clearance for chief state 
        election officials.--Not later than 30 days after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall 
        establish an expedited process for providing the appropriate 
        security clearance for the chief State election official of 
        each State and 1 designee selected by such official to ensure 
        that information relating to cybersecurity incidents and 
        threats is communicated to such officials in a timely manner.
            (2) State defined.--In this subsection, the term ``State'' 
        means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, the 
        Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the 
        United States Virgin Islands.
    (b) Information Sharing.--Not later than 30 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the 
Director of National Intelligence shall establish a cybersecurity 
incident notification process and cybersecurity incident response 
protocols for the sharing of information among State and Federal 
officials relating to election cybersecurity threats, vulnerabilities, 
and breaches.
    (c) Report to Congress.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 30 days after the day of 
        enactment of this Act, and each year thereafter, the Secretary 
        of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence 
        shall submit a joint report to appropriate congressional 
        committees in both classified and unclassified form, on foreign 
        threats to elections in the United States. The report shall 
        address the current and probable threats to our election system 
        and strategies to prevent foreign interference.
            (2) Appropriate congressional committees.--For purposes of 
        paragraph (1), the term ``appropriate congressional 
        committees'' means--
                    (A) the Committee on Rules and Administration, the 
                Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Homeland 
                Security and Governmental Affairs, the Committee on 
                Appropriations, and the Select Committee on 
                Intelligence of the Senate; and
                    (B) the Committee on House Administration, the 
                Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Homeland 
                Security, the Committee on Appropriations, and the 
                Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House 
                of Representatives.
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