Doubts raised about funding for 2020 election security and mail-in voting as money omitted from the latest stimulus bill.
While the economic and social fallout of the coronavirus captures virtually all federal, state and local policymaking resources, the US is quickly moving into a critical election season with election safety and security issues still unresolved. Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to pass the latest in a string of coronavirus-related bills, a $484 billion economic stimulus measure, the Paycheck Protection Program, and Health Care Enhancement Act.
That bill, a companion to a law passed by the Senate, did not contain provisions to help states and local jurisdictions with the likely need for mail-in voting and increased voting security, as some lawmakers and state officials had earlier hoped.
This latest stimulus bill follows several other pieces of stimulus legislation, including a significant bill signed into law on March 27, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act provided $400 million for states to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, for the 2020 Federal election cycle.” Those funds are aimed at making voting in the upcoming presidential and other elections in November “safe” given the coronavirus scourge and the likely need for a quick shift to mail-in ballots in addition to continued electronic voting at polling stations.[This article appeared in CSO Online. To read the rest of the article please visit here.]