INSTITUTE INDEX: Will Congress kill the agency that oversees voting machine security?

Election officials testing voting machines in Virginia's Fairfax County in 2013. (Photo by Fairfax County via Flickr.)

Date on which the U.S. House Administration Committee, by a 6-3 party-line vote, approved a bill to terminate the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), the independent government agency that sets security standards for voting machines and serves as a clearinghouse for election administration: 2/7/2017

Year in which the EAC was established by the Help America Vote Act, a law passed in response to the chaotic 2000 presidential election when almost 2 million ballots were disqualified because they registered multiple votes or no votes at all when run through vote-counting machines: 2002

Year in which the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration identified an "impending crisis” in voting technology caused in part by machines in use being close to or exceeding their lifespans: 2014

In the 2016 elections, number of states that used voting machines which were at least a decade old, putting them at higher risk of serious security and reliability flaws: 43

Year in which the Virginia State Board of Elections, following reports of voting machines crashing, launched an expert review that found wi-fi enabled machines which were not EAC-certified could allow attackers to access and modify data: 2014

Number of states where Russian hackers attempted to access voter-registration systems during the 2016 elections, raising concerns about election hacking more generally: more than 20

Number of state where the hackers were successful: 4

Year in which the Department of Homeland Security designated election systems as part of the nation's "critical infrastructure": 2017

Number of times U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper, the Mississippi Republican who sponsored the EAC termination bill, has introduced legislation to kill the agency and shift its functions to the Federal Elections Commission — even though having the FEC handle voting machine certification led to the 2000 Florida presidential recount crisis and the EAC's creation: 4

Number of years the EAC lacked the quorum needed to do business before the Senate unanimously confirmed three commissioners in 2014: almost 4

As a consequence of the agency's long shutdown, year in which the EAC adopted its most recent voting systems guidelines, which are now sorely outdated: 2005

Number of pro-democracy groups and individuals that denounced this week's committee vote to kill the EAC, which they called "an important tool for improving a voting system fraught with problems": 38

Days before the committee vote that President Trump announced plans to set up a White House commission to investigate voter fraud: less than 2

(Click on figure to go to source.)