(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) joined Congressman Marc Veasey (TX-33) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-05) in sending a letter to House and Senate appropriators requesting that they maintain critical funding to protect our elections at the House-passed levels of $600 million for the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and $16.2 million for the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) in the final FY 2020 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations bill. The letter has been signed by approximately 60 other Members of Congress.
“Our country’s elections are under attack and we must take the appropriate steps to fight back,” said Congressman Marc Veasey (TX-33). “This letter will help restore confidence in our elections and uphold the sacred right to vote by ensuring that investments to secure and fortify our elections are made."
"We can’t have real democracy without elections, and we can’t have real elections without election security," said Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08). "As a Representative whose District is home to the Election Assistance Commission and who serves on the House Administration Committee which oversees the EAC, I remain committed to fortifying American democracy.”
Created in 2002, HAVA provides federal funding to help states protect and improve their elections through enhancement of technology, election security, replacing voting systems, and meeting new standards for administering elections. Unfortunately, there has not been nearly enough federal funding for every state to implement all these needed investments to secure our elections, according to the Brennan Center.
Appropriating $600 million, with the accountability measures set forth in the House funding bill, would help states and localities secure their election systems and update or replace old voting equipment. Providing the EAC with an operating budget of $16.2 million would allow it to take on crucial election security work, hire additional staff to assist state and local election officials, invest in research on cybersecurity and election security best practices, and develop technical guidelines for voting machines with assistance from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
A signed copy of the letter is available here.