Text: H.R.4990 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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                                                 Union Calendar No. 318
116th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 4990

                      [Report No. 116-396, Part I]

 To direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the 
National Science Foundation to carry out research and other activities 
 to promote the security and modernization of voting systems, and for 
                            other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            November 8, 2019

Ms. Sherrill (for herself, Mr. Gonzalez of Ohio, Ms. Johnson of Texas, 
and Mr. Lucas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
  Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and in addition to the 
  Committee on House Administration, 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

                           February 13, 2020

Additional sponsors: Mr. Balderson, Ms. Kendra S. Horn of Oklahoma, Mr. 
    Perlmutter, Mr. Lipinski, Mr. Van Drew, Mr. Case, Mr. Harder of 
        California, Ms. Slotkin, and Ms. Kuster of New Hampshire

                           February 13, 2020

 Reported from the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology with an 
                               amendment
 [Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed 
                               in italic]

                           February 13, 2020

    Committee on House Administration discharged; committed to the 
 Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to 
                               be printed
    [For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on 
                           November 8, 2019]


_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the 
National Science Foundation to carry out research and other activities 
 to promote the security and modernization of voting systems, 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 ``Election Technology Research Act of 
2019''.

SEC. 2. NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY.

    (a) Voting Systems Research.--The Director of the National 
Institute of Standards and Technology, in collaboration with the 
National Science Foundation as appropriate, shall carry out a program 
of research on voting systems, including--
            (1) the cybersecurity of different components of such 
        systems;
            (2) end-to-end verifiable systems;
            (3) Internet-enabled voting;
            (4) the accessibility and usability of different components 
        of such systems;
            (5) voter privacy and data protection;
            (6) methods for auditing elections;
            (7) the interoperability of system technologies;
            (8) means for providing voters with the ability to easily 
        check whether a ballot sent by mail has been dispatched to the 
        voter and whether the voter's marked ballot has been received 
        and accepted by the appropriate election official;
            (9) the reliability of various approaches to voter 
        authentication; and
            (10) such other areas of research as the Director of the 
        National Institute of Standards and Technology determines to be 
        appropriate and related to the security and integrity of 
        elections for Federal office.
    (b) Elections Systems Center of Excellence.--
            (1) In general.--The Director of the National Institute of 
        Standards and Technology shall make an award to an institution 
        of higher education or an eligible nonprofit organization (or a 
        consortium thereof) to establish a Center of Excellence in 
        Election Systems.
            (2) Collaborations.--The Director shall ensure that the 
        Center of Excellence includes a collaboration of institutions 
        of higher education, nonprofit organizations, private sector 
        entities, and State and local election officials.
            (3) Purpose.--The purpose of the Center of Excellence shall 
        be to--
                    (A) conduct measurement research and statistical 
                analyses to inform the development of standards for 
                technologies and processes that contribute to more 
                secure, fair, and accessible elections;
                    (B) test and evaluate the security, usability, and 
                accessibility of the technologies of voting systems, 
                including the accessibility of poll book data by 
                voters;
                    (C) research testing methods that could be used for 
                the certification of voting system technologies;
                    (D) educate and train students studying in science, 
                technology, engineering, and mathematics fields to 
                conduct measurement science and standards research 
                relevant to such systems; and
                    (E) foster collaboration among academic 
                researchers, private sector vendors of election 
                technology, and State and local election officials.
            (4) Requirements.--
                    (A) In general.--An institution of higher education 
                or an eligible nonprofit organization (or a consortium 
                thereof) seeking funding under this subsection shall 
                submit an application to the Director at such time, in 
                such manner, and containing such information as the 
                Director may require.
                    (B) Applications.--Each application under 
                subparagraph (A) shall include a description of--
                            (i) how the Center will work with other 
                        research institutions, industry partners, and 
                        State or local election officials to identify 
                        the measurement, testing, and standards needs 
                        of voting systems and to leverage the expertise 
                        of election practitioners; and
                            (ii) how the Center will promote active 
                        collaboration among researchers in multiple 
                        disciplines involved in ensuring the security 
                        and integrity of such systems.
                    (C) Selection and duration.--Each Center 
                established under this section is authorized to carry 
                out activities for a period of 5 years, renewable for 
                an additional 5 years at the discretion of the 
                Director.
    (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out this section $12,000,000 for each of the 
fiscal years 2020 through 2024.

SEC. 3. NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION.

    (a) Research Grants.--The Director of the National Science 
Foundation, in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards 
and Technology and other relevant agencies, as appropriate, shall award 
basic research grants to increase the understanding of cyber and other 
threats to voting systems and to inform the development of 
technologies, processes, and policies that contribute to more secure, 
fair, and accessible elections, including research on--
            (1) the cybersecurity of different components of such 
        systems;
            (2) end-to-end verifiable systems;
            (3) the risks and benefits of Internet-enabled voting;
            (4) the human-technology interface, including the 
        usability, accessibility, and comprehensibility of ballot 
        design, ballot marking devices, and other components of such 
        systems;
            (5) voter privacy and data protection;
            (6) voter practices regarding the verification of ballots 
        generated by ballot marking devices and the likelihood that 
        voters, both with and without disabilities, will recognize 
        errors or omissions with respect to such ballots; and
            (7) such other topics as the Director determines to be 
        appropriate and related to the integrity of elections.
    (b) Elections Systems Research Center.--
            (1) In general.--The Director of the National Science 
        Foundation, in consultation with the Director of the National 
        Institute of Standards and Technology and the Secretary of 
        Homeland Security, as appropriate, shall award grants to 
        institutions of higher education or eligible nonprofit 
        organizations (or consortia thereof) to establish at least 1 
        multidisciplinary center for elections systems research and 
        education.
            (2) Consortia.--A consortia receiving an award under this 
        subsection may include institutions of higher education, 
        nonprofit organizations, private sector entities, and State and 
        local election officials.
            (3) Purpose.--The purpose of a center established with a 
        grant awarded under this subsection shall be to--
                    (A) conduct basic research to advance understanding 
                of cyber and other threats to election systems and the 
                conduct of secure, fair, and accessible elections;
                    (B) conduct research that may inform the 
                development of technologies, processes, and policies 
                that contribute to more secure, fair, and accessible 
                elections;
                    (C) educate and train students studying in science, 
                technology, engineering, and mathematics fields to 
                conduct research relevant to election systems;
                    (D) design curricula that address the growing 
                organizational management and information technology 
                needs of the election community; and
                    (E) foster collaboration among academic 
                researchers, private sector vendors of election 
                technology, and State and local election officials.
            (4) Requirements.--
                    (A) In general.--An institution of higher education 
                or an eligible nonprofit organization (or a consortium 
                thereof) seeking funding under this subsection shall 
                submit an application to the Director of the National 
                Science Foundation at such time, in such manner, and 
                containing such information as the Director may 
                require.
                    (B) Applications.--Each application under 
                subparagraph (A) shall include a description of--
                            (i) how the center established with a grant 
                        awarded under this subsection will work with 
                        other research institutions, industry partners, 
                        and State and local election officials to 
                        identify research needs and leverage the 
                        expertise of election practitioners; and
                            (ii) how the center will promote active 
                        collaboration among researchers in multiple 
                        disciplines involved in elections systems 
                        security, including computer science, data 
                        science, and social and behavioral sciences.
            (5) Selection and duration.--Each center established with a 
        grant awarded under this section is authorized to carry out 
        activities for a period of 5 years, renewable for an additional 
        5 years at the discretion of the Director.
    (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out this section $10,000,000 for each of the 
fiscal years 2020 through 2024.

SEC. 4. OTHER ACTIVITIES OF NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND 
              TECHNOLOGY TO PROMOTE SECURITY AND MODERNIZATION OF 
              VOTING SYSTEMS.

    (a) Common Data Format.--The National Institute of Standards and 
Technology shall establish and make publicly available common data 
format specifications for auditing, voter registration, and other 
elements of voting systems, and provide the specifications to the 
Technical Guidelines Development Committee of the Election Assistance 
Commission under section 221(e) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 
(52 U.S.C. 20961(e)).
    (b) Elections Systems Certifications.--The National Institute of 
Standards and Technology shall work in collaboration with the Election 
Assistance Commission to update the process under which voting systems 
are certified pursuant to the Help America Vote Act of 2002 so that 
State and local election officials will be better able to carry out 
updates and otherwise modernize such systems.
    (c) Technical Assistance.--The Director of the National Institute 
of Standards and Technology shall--
            (1) provide technical assistance to State and local 
        election officials on the implementation of cybersecurity 
        standards, privacy standards, risk assessments, risk-limiting 
        audits, and technologies which are incorporated in the 
        voluntary voting system guidelines issued under the Help 
        America Vote Act of 2002; and
            (2) in collaboration with the Department of Homeland 
        Security and the Election Assistance Commission, as 
        appropriate, conduct outreach to State and local election 
        officials in order to disseminate best practices for the 
        implementation of such voluntary voting system guidelines.

SEC. 5. GAO REPORT.

    Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, 
the Comptroller General shall submit a report to Congress that--
            (1) addresses the extent to which efforts by the National 
        Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to assist the 
        Technical Guidelines Development Committee of the Election 
        Assistance Commission in the development of voluntary voting 
        systems guidelines have resulted in market-ready standardized 
        voting equipment and software, and addresses the resources made 
        available to NIST to carry out these activities;
            (2) addresses efforts by NIST to monitor and review the 
        performance of laboratories accredited by the Elections 
        Assistance Commission and to make recommendations for 
        continuing accreditation, increased voting technology 
        reliability, and the number of accredited private laboratories, 
        and addresses resources made available to NIST to carry out 
        these activities; and
            (3) addresses the extent to which the annual list of 
        suggestions required to be submitted by NIST to the Election 
        Assistance Commission for research issues for grants and pilot 
        programs under section 271(d) of the Help America Vote Act of 
        2002 (52 U.S.C. 21041) and the evaluation of grants and 
        programs by NIST has improved voting technology and been 
        successful in encouraging the implementation of new 
        technologies in voting systems and equipment.

SEC. 6. AMENDMENTS TO THE HELP AMERICA VOTE ACT OF 2002.

    Section 301(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 
21081(b)) is amended--
            (1) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking 
        ``this section'' and inserting ``this Act'';
            (2) by striking ``and'' at the end of paragraph (1);
            (3) by redesignating paragraph (2) as paragraph (6); and
            (4) by inserting after paragraph (1) the following new 
        paragraphs:
            ``(2) any other paper or electronic technologies or 
        processes for collecting, storing, or transmitting personal 
        information of voters for use in the administration of 
        elections for Federal office, including electronic poll books 
        with respect to an election;
            ``(3) voter registration databases and systems, including 
        online interfaces;
            ``(4) systems for carrying out post-election auditing;
            ``(5) chain-of-custody procedures; and''.

SEC. 7. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act--
            (1) the term ``voting system'' has the meaning given such 
        term in section 301(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 
        U.S.C. 21081(b)), as amended by section 6; and
            (2) the term ``State'' means each of the several States, 
        the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, 
        Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the 
        Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
                                                 Union Calendar No. 318

116th CONGRESS

  2d Session

                               H. R. 4990

                      [Report No. 116-396, Part I]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL

 To direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the 
National Science Foundation to carry out research and other activities 
 to promote the security and modernization of voting systems, and for 
                            other purposes.

_______________________________________________________________________

                           February 13, 2020

 Reported from the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology with an 
                               amendment

                           February 13, 2020

    Committee on House Administration discharged; committed to the 
 Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to 
                               be printed

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