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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

4 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

The week markets went wild

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio

The markets just closed out a manic week.

Why it matters: Outsized — and in some cases historic — moves were evident across the board.