Washington, DC — Acting Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar called on the federal government to provide more funding to states and counties for election security during testimony today before the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on the Judiciary.
"Election security is a race without a finish line, and our adversaries are continuously advancing their technologies. We must do the same and more," Secretary Boockvar told the committee. "Our success is dependent on substantial and sustained dedication of resources."
Secretary Boockvar was testifying as Pennsylvania's chief election official and the co-chair of the Elections Committee of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) at the committee's hearing on "Securing America's Elections."
She urged the federal government to deliver additional election security funding and support to counties and states to protect and reinforce their voting infrastructure. Funding of these critical operations must be a cost-share by federal, state and local governments, she said.
"We need to plan for and invest in election security like we invest in other ongoing initiatives and challenges," Secretary Boockvar testified. "Investment cannot be once and done, and it should never be dependent on political winds. There is nothing partisan about ensuring that our elections are secure and accessible to all eligible voters."
Secretary Boockvar also described Pennsylvania's multi-layered and cross-sector election security strategy and new voting system initiative.
Gov. Tom Wolf's administration has brought together experts in multiple fields at the local, state and federal levels, including professionals in information technology, law enforcement, homeland security, elections and emergency preparedness. They meet and train together regularly and share information and other resources.
In April 2018, the PA Department of State directed all 67 counties to purchase and implement new voting systems by the 2020 primary. These new systems must meet the latest security and accessibility standards and provide a paper record with plain-language text that voters can verify before casting their ballot and that local officials can use in recounts and post-election audits.
Secretary Boockvar reported that, to date, 76 percent of the counties have officially voted to select new systems, and 46 of the 67 counties will use their new voting systems with voter-verifiable paper records in the Nov. 5 election.
All voters deserve a "deep-seated confidence in the security and accuracy of their vote," Secretary Boockvar concluded. "We urge you please to invest additional funds to ensure this for ourselves and for generations to come. Our democracy — and bolstering voters' confidence in their ability to participate fully in that democracy — is worth every dollar."
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