Spending bill will offer $380M for election cybersecurity improvements

The Omnibus spending bill that's set to be released at noon today will bring about $380 million worth of new spending for a novel Election Administration Commission (EAC) fund that is designed to help local election officials upgrade their systems, a senior U.S. official has told CyberScoop.

The big spending bill currently speeding through Congress will allocate about $380 million to a new fund designed to help local election officials upgrade their systems, a senior U.S. official told CyberScoop.

The money would be distributed by the Election Administration Commission (EAC), an independent agency. The move comes after the Senate Intelligence Committee announced Tuesday a list of recommendations for individual states to improve their cybersecurity posture ahead of the 2o18 midterm elections. Senior U.S. intelligence officials predict that Russia will once again target the U.S. election this year, perhaps similar to what occurred in 2016.

Lawmakers are expected to release the spending bill — a $1.3 trillion “ombnibus” appropriations measure covering most federal agencies through the end of fiscal 2018 — early Wednesday afternoon. Votes are expected on the legislation soon, because current government funding only lasts through Friday at midnight.

The EAC fund would represent one of the first major steps taken by Congress to protect the 2018 elections. A number of bills intended to do the same have stalled over the last several months.


The new fund would help election officials in states across the country work with the EAC to purchase new voting equipment and also organize training seminars to prepare for potential meddling.

It’s not exactly clear when the funding would be made available to states. The 2018 midterms will take place in November, but primary races are already ongoing.

Chris Bing

Written by Chris Bing

Christopher J. Bing is a cybersecurity reporter for CyberScoop. He has written about security, technology and policy for the American City Business Journals, DC Inno, International Policy Digest and The Daily Caller. Chris became interested in journalism as a result of growing up in Venezuela and watching the country shift from a democracy to a dictatorship between 1991 and 2009. Chris is an alumnus of St. Marys College of Maryland, a small liberal arts school based in Southern Maryland. He's a fan of Premier League football, authentic Laotian food and his dog, Sam.

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