Voting Machines Are Critical Infrastructure and Should Be Made in America

December 16, 2022

By Mike Vallante


Voting machines, registration databases, polling locations, and voting storage facilities are designated by the Department of Homeland Security as critical infrastructure. Component sourcing and manufacturing for elections infrastructure should be reformed to better address national security risks. Requiring that voting machines be Made in America provides better security and allows for quicker diagnosis of machine problems should they occur. For example, if issues arise with a voting machine, it would be easier to discover the cause if the machine hardware and software are created in Birmingham, Buffalo, or Boise, and not Beijing. This security enhancement further advances the desire of Americans to make it easy to vote but hard to cheat.


  • Critical Infrastructure Designation: Voting machines are designated as critical infrastructure by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) but do not currently have country-specific prohibitions on component sourcing, manufacturing, and supply chains, as do other sectors that are  designated critical infrastructure.
    • In September 2022, the Department of Defense temporarily shut down the entire F-35 program over one small alloy component they found to be sourced from China.  But in some cases, the Members of Congress who oversee and fund the Department of Defense are elected on voting machines that have parts sourced from China.
  • Sourcing Concerns: Some companies that manufacture voting machines source critical components from countries which are of major concern to the United States.
  • Best Practices: In March 2022, DHS released a fact sheet summarizing best practices for supply chain security. It provided some information and recommendations for the procurement of software, hardware, and services, as well as other risk management tactics, but the federal government and state governments have taken insufficient actions to secure component sourcing.
  • Transparency Concerns: A 2018 Associated Report found the “leading voting-related companies had long skimped on security in favor of convenience and operate under a shroud of financial and operational secrecy despite their critical role in elections."