Secretary Benson joins bipartisan effort to adequately fund Election Assistance Commission

Election NewsDECEMBER 18, 2020

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson joined a bipartisan group of 17 Secretaries of State across the country in ending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader of the House Kevin McCarthy in support of adequately funding the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) during fiscal year 2021.

“This year, election officials across the country stepped up to the plate to conduct a fair, secure and transparent election under extraordinary circumstances,” said Secretary Benson. “It is vital to our democracy that we ensure election workers have the resources they need to do their jobs, and that starts with allocating sufficient funding. This letter is a bipartisan and good-faith effort to urge our congressional leaders to act.”

The letter calls for robust funding for the EAC for a number of initiatives, including a comprehensive post-election review with a special focus on procedures implemented due to COVID-19, improvements to the security and auditing of election systems and the implementation of a robust training program available to all election officials nationwide.

The EAC, which was established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), provides support, guidance and assistance to state and local election officials for voter registration, voter participation, election equipment certification, cybersecurity, voter file maintenance and much more. Between 2010 and 2019, the EAC’s budget was cut significantly by almost 50 percent, severely limiting their ability to assist states and localities with the administration of the election.

The letter was also signed by Secretaries of State John H. Merrill (R-Alabama), Kevin Meyer (R-Alaska), Katie Hobbs (D-Arizona), John Thurston (R-Arkansas), Paul Pate (R-Iowa), Scott Schwab (R-Kansas), Kyle Ardoin (R-Louisiana), Steve Simon (D-Minnesota), Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D-New Mexico), Frank LaRose (R-Ohio), Nellie Gorbea (D-Rhode Island), Steve Barnett (R-South Dakota), Jim Condos (D-Vermont), Mac Warner (R-West Virginia) and Ed Buchanan (R-Wyoming) and Secretary of State-Elect Shemia Fagan (D-Oregon)

A copy of the letter can be viewed here.

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