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Voters in Illinois. Photo: Scott Olson / Getty Images

A group of House Democrats, including the top Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee, released a new proposal today that would offer funding to states to upgrade their election systems. The group has also released a report with recommendations on election security.

Why it matters: Intelligence directors told lawmakers Tuesday that Russia is showing no sign it will stop trying to interfere in U.S. elections. Time is running out for states to update their equipment if they intend to do so before elections this year. Primaries begin in less than a month.

The legislation would:

  • Provide states with $1 for each voter who participated in the most recent election to update election systems to paper ballots.
  • Authorize a $1 billion Election Assistance Commission (EAC) grant program.
  • Grant $20 million to states to run "risk-limiting audits." Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) said these audits would ensure that the votes support the paper trail of votes.

What's next: The report offers 10 recommendations on securing elections, including that federal funding should help states update their election systems and that states should run risk-limiting and post-election audits. The report includes recommendations for cybersecurity training, for vendors of election equipment, and for voter registration databases as well.

The big picture: Although the Democrats don't have the power to move this legislation ahead on their own, there are other bipartisan efforts to provide funding to update election security, and the problem isn't going away any time soon.

Go deeper

Scoop: FDA chief called to West Wing

Stephen Hahn. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has summoned FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn to the West Wing for a 9:30am meeting Tuesday to explain why he hasn't moved faster to approve the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, two senior administration officials told Axios.

Why it matters: The meeting is shaping up to be tense, with Hahn using what the White House will likely view as kamikaze language in a preemptive statement to Axios: "Let me be clear — our career scientists have to make the decision and they will take the time that’s needed to make the right call on this important decision."

Scoop: Schumer's regrets

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images   

Chuck Schumer told party donors during recent calls that the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fact that Cal Cunningham "couldn't keep his zipper up" crushed Democrats' chances of regaining the Senate, sources with direct knowledge of the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Democrats are hoping for a 50-50 split by winning two upcoming special elections in Georgia. But their best chance for an outright Senate majority ended when Cunningham lost in North Carolina and Sen. Susan Collins won in Maine.

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.