Senator Johnson’s bill would require new election equipment to be made in the United States

LANSING, Michigan— Senator Ruth Johnson Thursday introduced legislation requiring all new electronic voting machines purchased by Michigan election officials to be made in the United States

“To ensure the integrity of our democracy, we need to make sure the voting systems we use are secure and protected,” said Johnson, R-Holly, who previously served as Michigan’s secretary of state. “The threat of foreign-made technology has been a topic of national conversation for several years, with both the Trump and Biden administrations acknowledging the potential security risks associated with the use of foreign technology in official services. Clearly, our elections deserve to be protected against these risks.

“Requiring that new electronic voting machines be made in America not only dramatically reduces these potential vulnerabilities, it also supports American jobs.”

Senate Bill 884 would require any new electronic voting system purchased in the state on or after March 1, 2022 to be manufactured in the United States. The bill would also prohibit an electronic voting system manufactured outside the United States from being approved for use in Michigan by the Board of State Solicitors after that date. The bill would not prohibit the repair, maintenance or acquisition of parts for the proper functioning of existing systems acquired and approved before March 1, 2022.

In 2019, the Trump administration banned U.S. companies from using Chinese tech firm Huawei’s technology or supplying technology to the company, deeming it a national security risk.

In 2021, President Biden signed the Secure Equipment Act, requiring the Federal Communications Commission to establish rules stating that it will no longer review or approve any authorization requests for equipment on the Equipment List. or covered communications services – i.e. equipment from Huawei, ZTE, and three other Chinese companies cannot be used in US telecommunications networks. This legislation was unanimously approved by the US Senate and by a 420 to 4 vote in the US House of Representatives.

SB 884 was referred to the Senate Elections Committee for review.

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