The lame duck could be the last chance for election funding before 2024
…Those pushing for the funding have argued that while the $400 million would be welcome, it doesn’t address a longer-term need for federal funding for elections.
Even so, the recent funding “accounts for a minuscule, minuscule fraction of elections,” said Ryan Williamson, a governance fellow at the conservative-leaning think tank R Street.
He added that the best estimate for the cost of an election nationwide is about $2 billion, which “could balloon to $5 billion in the near future.”
Advocates have long called for a more reliable, steady stream of funding for elections — hundreds of millions on an annual basis — that allows election officials to plan ahead and make longer-term purchasing decisions. President Joe Biden’s 2023 budget, for example, called for $10 billion in election funding from the federal government over 10 years, which was widely praised in the community even if it had little chance of becoming law.
Williamson and others have argued that the federal government is making planning for elections more challenging by not providing that longer roadmap.
“It’s not so much the dollar amount that matters,” he said. “It is the regular, predictable amount that allows them to plan and budget. Scraping together $485 million a few months before an election is helpful, but it is not the most efficient or effective…”