In response to today’s Senate Appropriations Committee markup of key appropriations bills, including funding for our critical election infrastructure, Issue One’s Legislative Director Elise Wirkus released the following statement:
“We thank Senate appropriators for recognizing the need for continued election funding, and we know far more is needed. Local election officials are working hard to secure our elections in a constantly shifting threat environment. Federal election security grants are a critical tool in the fight to protect our elections from growing cyber and physical security threats ahead of the 2024 election. While the proposed $75 million in election security grants is a downpayment on elections during a difficult fiscal environment, it is a small fraction of what election officials need to ensure their offices and staff can administer safe, fair, and efficient elections next year.”
Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee and Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee released their proposed budget for FY2024 which included $75 million for election security grants, levels consistent with each of the last two fiscal years — well below what election officials and outside experts have said is needed.
Last month, election officials and poll workers from Issue One’s crosspartisan Faces of Democracy program came to Washington, D.C. to urge lawmakers and the Biden Administration to work in a bipartisan way to secure our country’s critical election infrastructure by appropriating at least $400 million in election funding, and to protect election workers in advance of the 2024 election and beyond.
Earlier this week, former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats (R-IN) and former Ambassador Tim Roemer (D-IN), both members of Issue One’s bipartisan National Council on Election Integrity, called on Congress to bolster our cybersecurity defenses and allocate required resources to modernize and strengthen our critical election infrastructure in an op-ed in the Indianapolis Star. “The current threat environment has become increasingly complex, and top election and cybersecurity officials are already sounding the alarm about potential cyber attacks that could threaten the security of our presidential elections,” Coats and Roemer wrote. “As the capabilities of our adversaries grow and become more menacing, it is vital that our election officials have the resources they need to keep up and protect our democracy.”
A recent national poll commissioned by Issue One found that 69% of Americans believe that the federal government should be just as, or more, responsible for election funding than municipalities and states, including 66% of Republicans and 74% of Democrats.
Issue: Election Administration