Verified Voting signed onto the letter below urging the House Appropriations Committee to increase the amount in the FSGG bill so election officials can do their jobs, noting that elections offices need a $2 billion investment in critical election infrastructure in the FY2023 budget. The $400 million Congress has on the table right now is just 20% of the gap that local elections officials have expressed. Read more:
June 22, 2022
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
United States House of Representatives
1236 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Rosa DeLauro
House Appropriations Committee
2413 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Chairperson DeLauro:
As we have all seen recently highlighted, election officials are facing unique and evolving challenges. They need increasing support for security, but not only for security. They need the basic supplies, staff and technology to do their jobs and do them well. That is why now, more than ever, elections offices need a $2 billion investment in critical election infrastructure in the FY2023 budget.
Local election officials are calling for protection and resources to meet these new challenges. Last week, the House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee appropriated $400 million for Election Security Grants for FY2023, far short of the need. The federal government hasn’t meaningfully invested in our election infrastructure in over a decade, and as a result, local election offices around the country are chronically underfunded. To fill this gap, local election offices need $2 billion in federal funding to be appropriated beginning with this year’s budget, and for that funding to be sustained for the next 10 years.
The $400 million Congress has on the table right now is just 20% of the gap that local elections officials have expressed, and academics have corroborated.1 This funding is necessary to provide for essential election resources at the local level, such as physical and cyber security systems, reliable and updated voting equipment, and adequate office space and personnel to properly administer elections. Many local election offices are struggling to provide for even the basics, lacking reliable internet access or storage space for election equipment. We can’t let this continue.
We understand that there are competing fiscal priorities, but this is critical. That is why we are asking the House Appropriations Committee to raise the amount in the FSGG bill from $400M to fund at the President’s requested level of $2B in Fiscal Year 2023 and fully fund his request for funding for the United States Postal Service to support vote by mail.
Thank you for your time.
Institute for Responsive Government
Center for Tech and Civic Life
Stand Up America
Healthy Democracy Healthy People Initiative
Al Schmidt, President & CEO of Committee of Seventy
Jocelyn Benson, Michigan Secretary of State
Denise Merrill, Secretary of State, Connecticut
Cathy Darling Allen, Shasta County Clerk, California
Katharine E. Clark, Santa Fe County Clerk, New Mexico
Katie Rosenberg, Mayor of Wausau (WI)
Cavalier Johnson, Mayor of Milwaukee (WI)
Cory Mason, Mayor of Racine (WI)
The Honorable Steny Hoyer, House Majority Leader
The Honorable James Clyburn, House Majority Whip
The Honorable Zoe Lofgren, Chairperson, House Administration Committee
The Honorable Mike Quigley, Chairperson, House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee
The Honorable John Yarmuth, Chairperson, House Budget Committee
The Honorable Bennie Thompson, Chairperson, House Homeland Security Committee
The Honorable Amy Klobuchar, Chairperson, Senate Rules and Administration Committee
The Honorable Patrick Leahy, Chairperson, Senate Appropriations Committee
The Honorable Dick Durbin, Chairperson, House Judiciary Committee
The Honorable Bernie Sanders, Chairperson, Senate Budget Committee
The Honorable Gary Peters, Chairperson, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
- Stewart, Charles, The Cost of Conducting Elections, May 16, 2022; linked here.