“New Report on Enhancing Security and Integrity Through Rethinking Election Funding”

Ryan Williamson at Electionline:

A recent report published by the R Street Institute highlights the need for improved election funding and offers suggestions on how to address funding shortfalls while improving election security and integrity. Though the 2022 midterm elections were secure and largely incident-free, many threats remain, especially as presidential elections draw more attention and voters. Therefore, it is not too early to begin supporting efforts to ensure safe and secure elections in 2024 through better funding.

Elections cost billions of dollars, and the price will only increase in future cycles. Unfortunately, elections in many jurisdictions are insufficiently funded, but there is general approval for the federal government to increase its support for elections. Around three in four election administrators of all political leanings would like to see more support from the federal government. And more than three in five people support the federal government providing $500 million per year in election funds. This would represent a marked improvement over recent history, in which the federal government has appropriated funds amounting to less than one-tenth of the cost of elections since 2018.

While it is important that Congress provided for some election security grants in the recent omnibus legislation, this irregular, unpredictable approach to funding is not ideal. Election offices around the country would benefit more from a reliable stream of funds that allows them to plan and budget according to their specific jurisdictional needs. And by providing funding well in advance of elections, offices would not have to give as much weight to the expediency of solutions and could instead give even greater consideration to cost and effectiveness. Regular funding also has the benefit of reducing the need for emergency spending when new, unforeseen issues such as a pandemic arise.

With these things in mind, the report offers the following recommendations. …

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