Ensuring Safe Elections: Federal Funding Needs for State and Local Governments During the Pandemic   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Document: "On March 27, President Trump signed into law a $2 trillion economic relief package that included $400 million in grants to help states run their elections during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. This was an important first step. Unfortunately, we now know this is not enough. In this document we examine the difference between the March 27 federal investment in the electoral process and what will be needed to ensure safe and healthy elections for 2020. We focus on Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. These five states have diverging election administration systems and needs, from the number of elections each will hold this cycle to their requirements for absentee voting. Two common themes stand out. First, what Congress has provided so far is not enough to run safe and secure elections in 2020. Our review shows that the March 27 grants will likely cover anywhere from less than 10 percent of what Georgia officials need to around 18 percent of what Ohio officials need. Second, local election jurisdictions bear the heaviest burden of protecting voters and workers during the election. In two of the states we examined, local governments must cover over 90 percent of the costs needed to ensure safe and secure elections this year. In all five states, they will bear the overwhelming share of such expenses."

Brennan Center for Justice
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