Headlines: McConnell added his name last week to a $ 250-billion bipartisan amendment to a pending budget bill, a sudden change from his earlier prevention of cybersecurity bills.
According to an estimate by the Brennan Center of the NYU Law School, the minimum cost of securing the US election system over the next 5 years is $ 2.153 billion. Lawrence Norden, Director of the Electoral Reform Program in Brennan, told Axios that it will probably cost a similar amount every 5 years thereafter.
In figures: According to Brennan estimates, the purchase of ballot-electoral voting machines for the last states, including Pennsylvania, which has not changed yet, costs
- $ 486 million for secure voter registration systems.
- $ 833 million for cyber security of state and local elections, including $ 55 million for county-level cybersecurity, including 1 employee for 10 districts and $ 9.6 million for website security ,
- $ 100 million for post-election examinations.
This is not just a question of the voting machine: The public debate about electoral security is often falsely reduced to exchanging machines with no paper votes against machines.
- "People find it easy to wrap their heads around paper voices," Norden said. "But there are many other ways to attack elections that have nothing to do with voting machines – if you look at successful attacks around the world, they target voter databases and reporting systems."
Many of these costs are repeated: "The equipment is aging, and voting equipment needs to be replaced every 10 years," Norden said.
- Personnel costs, web security and other costs are increasing year after year.
- "People think they vote for only one vote on election day," said Earl Matthews, chief strategy officer of security firm Verodin and retired major general of the Air Force. "But this process actually started many months ago."
The federal government does not have to bear the full cost of cyber security. In fact, most states would prefer a degree of autonomy in the conduct of elections.
- But states can not realistically fight nations without some extra help.
- "The federal government has the responsibility to share," said Christopher Deluzio, director of politics at the University of Pittsburgh's Cyber Center, who frequently wrote about the cost of securing elections.
The Politics: A GOP Axios told them that with $ 250 million, the total eligibility for electoral security since 2018 for the states exceeded $ 600 million.
- An earlier amount of $ 380 million already included in the Brennan estimate was not entirely new – it was money earmarked for electoral system grants under the law after the Florida debacle in the 2000 was adopted in the elections.
- Parliament has submitted more substantive plans to the McConnell Senate. The For the People Act, the first bill passed by parliament at this session, earmarked nearly $ 1.6 billion for electoral security – including $ 1.5 billion in equipment and $ 55 million in " Bug Bounty "programs.
Conclusion: $ 250 million is a down payment on security, not the entire bill.