Senators Klobuchar and Collins Reintroduce Legislation to Fund Cybersecurity Training for Election Officials

Former President Donald Trump’s administration knocked down cybersecurity bills more than once despite concerns that foreign adversaries were once again interfering in the United States‘ elections. Amid all of this, calls to fund cybersecurity training for election officials intensified. Now, thanks to Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), a bill to do just that has been reintroduced. The two senators introduced the bill in 2019 but it did not advance in the Senate.

The measure, The Invest in Our Democracy Act, would establish a $1 million grant program to cover up to 75% of the costs of tuition for cybersecurity or election administration training for state and local election officials. Their employees would also qualify. The grant program would be overseen by the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), whose employees would also be eligible.

“Our intelligence officials have made clear that our election systems continue to be a target for foreign adversaries,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “While federal and state officials have agreed that the 2020 election was ‘the most secure in American history,’ we must continue to do everything in our power to protect our democracy from the ongoing threat of foreign interference.”

She added: “That means making sure those who are on the front lines of administering elections have the training and resources they need to safeguard our election systems. The Invest in Our Democracy Act would ensure that election officials are prepared to improve cyber-defenses and election administration practices ahead of future elections.” 

Collins also released a statement in which she called elections “the cornerstone of our democracy,” noting that “it is vital that we safeguard this institution in the midst of the current public health and economic crisis.”

In 2019, the Election Security Act was blocked by the Senate.

“We know there’s a continued threat against our democracy. What we need to do now is address these facts with a common purpose, to protect our democracy, to make sure that our election systems are resilient against future attacks,” Klobuchar said from the Senate floor at the time.