Include Secure Elections In The Stimulus

Please call Grassley, and Ernst and urge them to include funding in the stimulus for securing the election this fall. They are talking about a $2 trillion stimulus; the Brennan Center estimates that one-thousandth of that amount will fund necessary meas
ures to ensure safe, auditable voting this fall.

Grassley: 202-224-3744
Ernst: 202-224-3254

Here is the Brennan Center’s cost estimate for providing Federal funding for a vote by mail option for every voter in every state, increased election staffing, providing safe polling places, increasing online voter registration and fighting disinformation:

https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/estimated-costs-covid-19-election-resiliency-measures

As you read this, Congress is negotiating a COVID19 stimulus package.

It must include significant funding for elections now — to allow people to vote by mail or early — and limit their exposure to the virus in November.

Last night, it was revealed that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell allocated a measly $140 million in funding for our election systems, despite the massive impact that corona virus has already had our ability to vote safely.

Several states have pushed back their primary elections for fear that it would put voters in the position of choosing between protecting their health and participating in democracy.

We need to act now to ensure Americans have a safer and more secure way to vote in November.

Call your U.S. Senators and ask them to support $2 billion in funding for elections adaptations like vote-by-mail in the current stimulus package. Call this number to get connected: (202) 224-3121.

Our elections need to move in a major way to vote-by-mail with an option for people to use expanded early voting.

These measures will prevent crowding on election day, help protect public health and ensure that vulnerable populations are able to participate in our democratic process.

The Brennan Center for Justice estimates that it will cost about $2 billion to fully adjust our elections to the pandemic for November.

Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to get connected to your U.S. Senators and ask them to support $2 billion for elections in the current stimulus package.

For those states that do move to vote by mail, curbside voting and other public health adaptations, more voters will have the option to hand mark a paper ballot as they are able.

This is good for security. But we will also need to make sure that the vote count is live streamed, that there are bipartisan observers and strong audits. The counting machines can still be hacked or experience errors.

Voters not used to the vote count happening far away, need to be able to observe and trust that their vote is being counted accurately.

Vote by mail can take many days after election day to count, so we should also expect election results to be delayed a week or more this fall.

Even with funding, it will take states time to ramp up these reforms in time for election day — staff must be hired, new systems must be built and giant mail sorting machines ordered — which is why we need to get funding to the states now in order to ensure that our Democracy remains intact.

Call (202) 224-3121 to get connected to your Senators and ask them to support $2 billion in funding for our elections to adapt to public health needs in the stimulus package currently being negotiated.

Together, we can pass the critical reforms needed to protect our health and democracy.

In Solidarity,
Christine & Aquene
Public Citizen
Citizen.org

 

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