Text: H.R.4777 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (10/21/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 4777 Introduced in House (IH)]

<DOC>






116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 4777

 To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require States to take 
  steps to ensure domestic ownership and control of election service 
                   providers, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            October 21, 2019

    Mr. Van Drew (for himself, Ms. Kendra S. Horn of Oklahoma, Mr. 
   Fortenberry, Mr. Steube, Ms. Spanberger, Ms. Torres Small of New 
  Mexico, Mr. Young, and Mr. Crenshaw) introduced the following bill; 
      which was referred to the Committee on House Administration

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require States to take 
  steps to ensure domestic ownership and control of election service 
                   providers, 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 ``Protect our Elections Act''.

SEC. 2. ENSURING DOMESTIC OWNERSHIP AND CONTROL OF ELECTION SYSTEMS.

    (a) In General.--Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 
U.S.C. 21083 et seq.) is amended--
            (1) by redesignating sections 304 and 305 as sections 305 
        and 306; and
            (2) by inserting after section 303 the following new 
        section:

``SEC. 304. ENSURING DOMESTIC OWNERSHIP AND CONTROL OF ELECTION 
              SYSTEMS.

    ``(a) Requiring Election Service Providers To Be Qualified.--Each 
State, unit of local government, or component of a State or unit of 
local government which is responsible for the administration of an 
election for Federal office shall ensure that each election service 
provider who provides, supports, or maintains any component of an 
election system used in the administration of the election is a 
qualified election service provider.
    ``(b) Annual Evaluation To Ensure Compliance.--Each State, unit of 
local government, or component of a State or unit of local government 
which is responsible for the administration of an election for Federal 
office shall, not less frequently than once each calendar year, 
evaluate each election service provider to ensure that the election 
service provider is a qualified election service provider.
    ``(c) Cybersecurity Best Practices.--Not later than 90 days after 
the date of the enactment of this section, the Chair of the Commission 
and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish and publish 
cybersecurity best practices for election service providers who 
provide, support, or maintain election systems, and shall establish and 
publish updates to such best practices at such times as the Chair and 
the Secretary consider appropriate.
    ``(d) Guidance and Technical Assistance.--
            ``(1) In general.--The Chair of the Commission and the 
        Secretary of Homeland Security may provide such guidance and 
        technical assistance as may be appropriate to assist each 
        State, unit of local government, or component of a State or 
        unit of local government which is responsible for the 
        administration of an election for Federal office with its 
        obligations under this section.
            ``(2) Database of qualified election service providers.--As 
        part of providing guidance and technical assistance under this 
        subsection, the Commission shall establish and maintain a 
        database in which each State, unit of local government, or 
        component of a State or unit of local government which is 
        responsible for the administration of an election for Federal 
        office can verify whether an election service provider is a 
        qualified election service provider.
    ``(e) Election Service Provider and Qualified Election Service 
Provider Defined.--
            ``(1) Election service provider.--In this section, the term 
        `election service provider' means any person providing, 
        supporting, or maintaining an election system on behalf of an 
        election agency, such as a contractor or vendor.
            ``(2) Qualified election service provider.--
                    ``(A) In general.--In this section, the term 
                `qualified election service provider' means an election 
                service provider who meets each of the following 
                criteria, as established and published by the Chair of 
                the Commission in coordination with the Secretary of 
                Homeland Security:
                            ``(i) Except as provided in subparagraph 
                        (C), the election service provider is solely 
                        owned and controlled by United States persons 
                        or persons described in subparagraph (B).
                            ``(ii) The election service provider 
                        submits in accordance with section 3(a) of the 
                        Protect our Elections Act--
                                    ``(I) notice of any material change 
                                in ownership or control of the election 
                                service provider; and
                                    ``(II) any other information 
                                required to be reported under that 
                                section.
                            ``(iii) The election service provider 
                        agrees to ensure that the election systems will 
                        be developed and maintained in a manner that is 
                        consistent with the cybersecurity best 
                        practices established under subsection (c).
                            ``(iv) The election service provider agrees 
                        to maintain its information technology 
                        infrastructure in a manner that is consistent 
                        with the cybersecurity best practices 
                        established under subsection (c).
                            ``(v) The election service provider shall 
                        report any known or suspected incidents 
                        involving election systems to the chief State 
                        election official of the State involved or the 
                        official's designee, the Chair, and the 
                        Secretary.
                    ``(B) Persons described.--For purposes of 
                subparagraph (A)(i), a person described in this 
                subparagraph is a corporation or business entity that 
                is created or organized under the laws of a country 
                that is party to the UK-USA Agreement for joint 
                cooperation in signals intelligence, military 
                intelligence, and human intelligence, also known as the 
                `Five Eyes alliance'.
                    ``(C) Permitting waiver of domestic ownership and 
                control requirement for certain subsidiaries.--The 
                Secretary of Homeland Security may waive the 
                requirement of clause (i) of subparagraph (A) with 
                respect to a person who is a United States subsidiary 
                of a parent company which has implemented a foreign 
                ownership or control mitigation plan that has been 
                approved by the Secretary. Such plan shall ensure that 
                the parent company cannot control, influence, or direct 
                the subsidiary in any manner that would compromise or 
                influence, or give the appearance of compromising or 
                influencing, the independence and integrity of an 
                election.
                    ``(D) Incident defined.--For purposes of 
                subparagraph (A)(v), the term `incident' has the 
                meaning given that term in section 3552(b)(2) of title 
                44, United States Code.
    ``(f) Election System Defined.--In this section, the term `election 
system' means a voting system, an election management system, a voter 
registration website or database, an electronic pollbook, a system for 
tabulating or reporting election results, an election agency 
communications system, or any other information system (as defined in 
section 3502 of title 44, United States Code) that the Secretary of 
Homeland Security, in consultation with the Commission, identifies as 
central to the management, support, or administration of a Federal 
election.
    ``(g) Ownership and Control Defined.--The Commission, in 
consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, shall issue 
regulations defining the terms `ownership' and `control' for purposes 
of this section.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment Relating to Enforcement.--Section 401 of 
such Act (52 U.S.C. 21111) is amended by striking ``and 303'' and 
inserting ``303, and 304''.
    (c) Clerical Amendments.--The table of contents of such Act is 
amended--
            (1) by redesignating the items relating to sections 304 and 
        305 as relating to sections 305 and 306; and
            (2) by inserting after the item relating to section 303 the 
        following new item:

``Sec. 304. Ensuring domestic ownership and control of election 
                            systems.''.
    (d) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section shall 
apply with respect to elections for Federal office held in 2020 or any 
succeeding year.

SEC. 3. INFORMATION SHARING WITH RESPECT TO OWNERSHIP OF ELECTION 
              SERVICE PROVIDERS.

    (a) In General.--Each election service provider shall submit to the 
Secretary of Homeland Security, the Election Assistance Commission, and 
appropriate State or local governmental entities the following:
            (1) Not later than the date that is 90 days after the later 
        of the date of the enactment of this section or the date that a 
        person first becomes an election service provider, a report 
        listing the identity of any foreign national (as defined in 
        section 319(b) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 
        U.S.C. 30121(b))) who directly or indirectly owns or controls 
        such election service provider and the percentage of such 
        ownership, and any other information necessary to determine 
        whether the election service provider is a qualified election 
        service provider.
            (2) Not later than 90 days after the date of any material 
        change in ownership or control of such election service 
        provider, a notice of such change and an update of any 
        information previously reported under paragraph (1).
    (b) Civil Penalty for Failure To Report.--If an election service 
provider fails to submit a report required under subsection (a), the 
Attorney General may, after notice and opportunity for hearing, impose 
a civil fine of $20,000.
    (c) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) Appropriate state or local governmental entity.--The 
        term ``appropriate State or local governmental entity'' means, 
        with respect to an election service provider, any State or 
        local governmental entity that the election service provider 
        seeks to contract with, contracts with, or otherwise provides 
        services to provide, support, or maintain an election system.
            (2) Election service provider; election system; qualified 
        election service provider.--The terms ``election service 
        provider'', ``election system'', and ``qualified election 
        service provider'' have the meaning given those terms in 
        section 304 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, as added by 
        section 2.
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