Press releases

Issue One, NCEI co-chairs, and Faces of Democracy member commend Congress for investing in our critical election infrastructure

Media Contact

Cory Combs

Director of Media Relations

In response to today’s major government funding bill, which included $55 million in federal election grants for local and state officials, Issue One’s Director of Election Protection Carah Ong Whaley issued the following statement:

“Election officials nationwide need the support of Congress now more than ever. That means regular and consistent federal funding so officials have the resources they need to keep our elections free, safe, and secure. We know that every little bit helps, and we appreciate the $55 million appropriated in today’s budget proposal. We also know that it is not enough. Over the long-term, it is vital that our nation’s leaders listen to the needs of election officials and deliver necessary funds to ensure that our critical election infrastructure remains strong and resilient.”

The co-chairs of Issue One’s bipartisan National Council on Election Integrity (NCEI) — Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Tim Roemer (D-IN), and Zach Wamp (R-TN) — added: “Our elections are safe and secure because they are administered by trained election officials at the state and county level who ensure that every eligible vote is counted accurately. With the likelihood that foreign adversaries like Russia and China will attempt to meddle in our elections, combined with a polluted and fractured information environment, these officials deserve regular and stable funding to ensure the security of our electoral processes. Today’s budget proposal will help officials address these challenges, but more is needed in the future to fully support our nation’s election infrastructure.”

Additionally, Faces of Democracy member and Director of the Board of Elections in Defiance County, Ohio, Tonya Wichman said: “As someone working on the front lines of election protection, I have first-hand experience with the benefits that increased HAVA funding provides for smaller localities like Defiance County. As security protocols increase for our equipment as well as our cyber security infrastructure, HAVA funding grants allowed us to meet these new requirements without drawing from the local county budget. HAVA funds were instrumental in replacing aging equipment in offices that could not keep up with the demand. Parts for the former equipment were not available to replace as the equipment had become obsolete. Should HAVA funding be excessively cut, it will fall on local tax payers to help us meet the necessary demands to ensure our election integrity.”

Today’s funding bill follows a Senate Rules Committee hearing last week which featured testimony from state and local election officials about a wide range of challenges facing the election administration community. Republican and Democratic senators agreed that election funding is essential to combat growing threats – watch highlights here.

Learn more about Issue One’s efforts to keep U.S. elections free, fair, and secure.