Press releases

Issue One, NCEI co-chairs, and Faces of Democracy members denounce Congress for failure to invest in our critical election infrastructure

Media Contact

Cory Combs

Director of Media Relations

In response to today’s House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee (FSGG) markup, which allocated zero dollars in federal funding for critical election infrastructure, Issue One’s Director of Election Protection Carah Ong Whaley issued the following statement:

“Today, Congress failed the dedicated Americans who ensure the integrity of our elections. With a constitutional responsibility to guarantee federal elections are free, safe, and secure, Congress must, at the very least, appropriate funds for election security grants. Eliminating these crucial grants is a dereliction of duty and undermines our democratic foundations. For the sake of our democracy, the inadequate funding marked up today cannot stand as the final appropriation.”

The co-chairs of Issue One’s bipartisan National Council on Election Integrity (NCEI) — Reps. Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Amb. Tim Roemer (D-IN), and Zach Wamp (R-TN) — added: “A torrent of false information flooding our information environment, increasing polarization and domestic extremism, and malign foreign actors including China and Russia seeking to disrupt and undermine American elections are all grave threats to our democracy. That’s why Congress must act and not ignore this national security emergency. Our elections have been deemed ‘critical infrastructure’ by the Department of Homeland Security, and Congress therefore has a clear responsibility to fund the security needs surrounding our national elections this fall. Democracy is not a luxury; it is a responsibility that must be fiercely defended. Robust and regular funding for our electoral security is vital to safeguarding our Republic. The inadequate appropriation by the FSGG subcommittee is unacceptable. We urgently call on the full Appropriations Committee to correct this failure and allocate $400 million in election security grant funds immediately.”

Moreover, Faces of Democracy member and Ottawa County Clerk, Justin Roebuck (R-MI) expressed: “Election administration is a constitutionally mandated function vital for self-governance. Chronic underfunding by Congress adds to an increasingly challenging strain on local election officials and county budgets. It is imperative that members of Congress heed the calls of those who tirelessly administer our federal, state, and local elections. They must ensure consistent and adequate investments to safeguard the security and integrity of our democratic process.”

Recently, nearly 30 former members of Congress, national security experts, and election experts from the NCEI called on key Republican and Democratic congressional leaders to appropriate $400 million in election security grants — with at least 50% going to local election offices. Their request stated: “​​This investment is essential to protecting our nation’s elections from foreign interference, cyber, and physical threats against election offices and officials.”

In a separate request, 21 election officials from Issue One’s Faces of Democracy campaign also called on Congress to appropriate at least $400 million in Election Security Grants in FY2025. “Federal election security grants, though only intermittently appropriated, have proven essential for state and local election officials to be able to respond to shifting threat environments during the last 20 years,” the letter reads.

Read the full NCEI and Faces of Democracy letters and learn more about Issue One’s efforts to keep U.S. elections free, fair, and secure.