House Dems unveil election security, voting measures in sweeping anti-corruption bill

House Democrats on Friday unveiled several election security measures as part of their first sweeping legislation of the session.

The bill, H.R. 1, or the For the People Act, mandates that states use paper ballots in elections, which must also be hand-counted, or by “optical character recognition device,” the bill states.

Rep. John SarbanesJohn Peter Spyros SarbanesHouse to vote this month on legislation to combat foreign interference in elections Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to testify on Libra | Extremists find home on Telegram app | Warren blasts Facebook for not removing anti-Biden ad | California outlaws facial recognition in police body cameras | China rips US tech sanctions House Democrats introduce new legislation to combat foreign election interference MORE (D-Md.) introduced the legislation, which he and other Democrats have described as a comprehensive anti-corruption package that will set the tone for their time in control of the House.

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The bill will also allow the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) — the small federal agency tasked with helping officials carry out elections — to hand out funding to states for the improvement of their elections systems.

The Department of Homeland Security would also be required to conduct a threat assessment ahead of elections and that voting systems be tested nine months before any national election.

And the legislation creates security standards for voting machine vendors, including that they must be owned by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The EAC has had voluntary voting system guidelines for vendors in place.

There are also several provisions included on helping Americans to vote, like offering online voter registration, shoring up the Voting Rights Act and ending voter roll purges.

While the bill has a decent chance of moving through the House, where Democrats hold the majority, it may face a more difficult path to passage in the GOP-controlled Senate.

The Senate is also home to the now-dead Secure Elections Act, sponsored by Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharA free college tradeoff — what should the 2020 candidates promise? Booker hits fundraising threshold for December debate after surge of post-debate donations The Hill's Morning Report - Sondland stuns; Dems pull punches in fifth debate MORE (D-Minn.) and James LankfordJames Paul LankfordTrump steps up GOP charm offensive as impeachment looms Trump lunches with two of his biggest Senate GOP critics Senate approves stopgap bill to prevent shutdown MORE (R-Okla.), aimed at securing election systems from cyberattacks. The senators have said they will reintroduce the legislation this legislative session.

Congress failed to pass any election security legislation after Russia was determined to have interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsHillicon Valley: Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract in court | State antitrust investigation into Google expands | Intel agencies no longer collecting location data without warrant Intelligence agencies have stopped collecting cellphone data without warrants: letter This week: Democrats churn toward next phase of impeachment fight MORE said late last month that Russia conducted influence campaigns targeting the 2018 midterms, but that there were no compromises of U.S. election systems.