WASHINGTON, DC., March 26, 2020 — The Niskanen Center supports the inclusion of $400 million in election security grants in the Senate’s “Phase III” stimulus legislation allocated to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, for the 2020 federal election cycle.”
“Protecting the 2020 elections from COVID-19 should be a top priority for both Republicans and Democrats in Congress. All Americans should have access to the electoral process this fall, and a $400 million investment to states will surely aid election officials in the face of this current emergency and possible resurgence in November” said Kristie De Peña, Niskanen’s Vice President for Policy.
De Peña continued, “However, election experts estimate states will need $2 billion to ensure election integrity come November. We urge Congress to provide an additional $1.6 billion in direct grants to states in the Phase IV stimulus package, and to consider additional voting modalities to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to vote in a fair and transparent election.”
Local officials from both parties have made the clarion call for additional resources without delay. These funds can be utilized to increase vote-by-mail capabilities, expand early voting, cover postage costs and processing, print absentee ballots and materials, and more. States should be awarded grants so they can best decide how to use resources to ensure all Americans have their voices heard in the 2020 election cycle.
The Niskanen Center applauds the negotiators for taking this fruitful first step in protecting our elections, and looks forward to working with lawmakers from both parties in the coming weeks to increase funding for states.
The Niskanen Center is a 501(c)(3) advocacy organization established in 2014 that works to change public policy through direct engagement in the policymaking process.