June 20, 2023

The Honorable Steve Womack
House Subcommittee on Appropriations
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Steny Hoyer
Ranking Member
House Subcommittee on Appropriations
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Womack and Ranking Member Hoyer:

Election administration is foundational to our democracy, yet public spending on elections often ranks near the bottom of spending priorities. We urge the House Financial Services and General Government Committee to appropriate $400 million for state and local election departments in fiscal year 2024. This funding is critical to a free, fair, and secure 2024 presidential election.

While our elections are fair and secure, limited resources underpin nearly every logistical, administrative, or trust issue that election offices face. Despite being designated critical infrastructure in 2017, federal investment in elections is irregular, unpredictable, and insufficient. Election officials from across the political spectrum agree that additional federal funding from Congress merits consideration and support. This $400 million investment would help close resource gaps and protect the integrity of our elections by providing funding to the thousands of election officials who have shouldered American democracy through one of its most difficult periods to date.

Elections are one of America’s most locally run tasks, administered by officials who commit long hours to ensuring that elections are fair and secure. The jobs of election administrators have grown increasingly complex in recent years, with today’s officials now expected to meet myriad cybersecurity, digital communication, public relations, and administrative demands simultaneously. The jobs of election administrators have also grown more dangerous, with 1 in 4 local election officials experiencing threats, harassment, or abuse.

While our elections are reliable and secure, chronic underfunding risks increasing security vulnerabilities in cash-strapped jurisdictions. The 2020 and 2022 elections demonstrated firsthand how minor, technical glitches can undermine voter confidence—even when quickly identified and addressed. Additional resources will mitigate local vulnerabilities that could have national implications if exploited. For maximum effectiveness, states should be required to disperse a portion of the funds to their local election offices to qualify for federal support.

This $400 million dollar investment is the first of many crucial steps we must take to ensure our local election officials have the resources they need to administer trusted and secure elections.


Bipartisan Policy Center
Issue One
R Street Institute