From an article by Joseph Marks at the Washington Post:
State election officials want the latest round of election security money included in a major bill proposed by House Democrats – but they’re divided on whether they want to accept a slew of voting mandates that come along with it.
The divide is largely along partisan lines. On one side, there’s Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate (R), the incoming president of the National Association of Secretaries of State, who balked at provisions in H.R. 1 that make it more difficult for states to impose voter ID requirements. Pate said in an email the For the People Act amounts to the federal government seizing authority over elections from states.
More on this story from Washington Post. US Federal, State, and Local elections employ a number voting materials and equipment during elections. Jamila Benkato, who serves as Council for nonprofit Protect Democracy, has noted that the major vendors ES&S, Hart, and Dominion produce approximately 92% of the equipment used during every US election. The role of these companies in US democracy cannot be underlooked yet the same role is under-examined, Benkato notes.
According to the article:
“Perhaps most concerning are vendor efforts to keep secret the technology upon which American elections rely while at the same time feteing state and local election officials with expensive trips and meals. Vendors have actively and increasingly pushed back on efforts to study and analyze the equipment that forms the basic foundation of our democratic processes.”
Read Benkato’s very interesting arguments for reform in the article here. Benkato has previously worked as a law clerk to the Honorable David O. Carter of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, at the ACLU of Southern California’s Immigrants’ Rights and National Security Projects, and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee.