FREDERICKSBURG FREE LANCE-STAR, CLINT SCHEMMER
A significant chunk of the election reform bill passed Friday by the U.S. House of Representatives sprang from the desk of a freshman Virginia lawmaker, Rep. Abigail Spanberger.
HR 1—the Democratic majority’s For the People Act—aims to tighten election security, guarantee fair elections, curb big money’s role in politics, and enhance ethics standards in government.
The first of its provisions originated with a bill and an amendment that Spanberger, D–7th, introduced Feb. 28 to bolster the integrity of U.S. elections and mitigate foreign threats to the nation’s election infrastructure. Her bill is the Strengthening Elections through Intelligence Act. House leaders incorporated the Henrico County Democrat’s amendment into HR 1.
Spanberger’s measure would require the federal government to assess cyber, terror and state-actor threats to the security of America’s election systems.
It would instruct the U.S. director of national intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security to brief state and federal officials on vulnerabilities and recommend how best to avert threats. The intelligence chief’s report, written with DHS and the federal Election Assistance Commission, would be due six months before a November general election.
Another bill that was rolled into HR 1, and cosponsored by Spanberger, would prevent foreign-owned corporations from funneling money into U.S. elections.
Spanberger is a former CIA officer who worked anti-terrorism cases.