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 SarbanesThe Democrats are leading off with a bill to 'restore democracy' Hillicon Valley: Marriott cuts breach estimates, but says millions of passports exposed | Los Angeles sues Weather Channel app over data collection | Bill would create office to fight Chinese threats to US tech | German politicians hit by major breach Democrats launch ‘drain-the-swamp’ agenda 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 KlobucharGrassley to test GOP on lowering drug prices Identity politics and the race for the Democratic nomination CNN analyst Phil Mudd: Barr will ‘crush’ Trump administration MORE (D-Minn.) and James LankfordJames Paul LankfordSenate GOP eyes 'nuclear option' for Trump nominees next week GOP senator calls Trump immigration offer a 'straw man proposal' not meant to become law Sunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal 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 CoatsListen, learn and lead: Congressional newcomers should leave the extremist tactics at home The Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s attorney general pick passes first test Dems zero in on Trump and Russia 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.