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Press Release

Brennan Center Responds to Stimulus Package’s Insufficient Funding for Protecting 2020 Election Against Coronavirus

States simply will not have the resources so people can vote safely. Congress must do better when it composes the next stimulus package.

March 25, 2020
Contact: Julian Brookes, Media Contact, brookesj@brennan.law.nyu.edu, 646-292-8376

Early this morn­ing, the Senate reached a deal on the third stim­u­lus pack­age aimed at the impact of the coronavirus. A vote is expec­ted today.

Michael Wald­man, pres­id­ent of the Bren­nan Center for Justice at NYU Law, had the follow­ing comment:

“The coronavirus pandemic is a health and economic crisis. The $2 tril­lion dollar stim­u­lus will help soften its effects on the Amer­ican people. However, Congress failed to include suffi­cient, urgently needed funds in the stim­u­lus to help states run elec­tions in a time of pandemic. This could wreak havoc in Novem­ber. 

“States simply will not have the resources so people can vote safely. Congress must do better when it composes the next stim­u­lus pack­age. State elec­tion offi­cials from both parties have made it clear they need help to hold a safe, fair, and secure Novem­ber elec­tion under pandemic condi­tions.

“By our estim­ate, state and local offi­cials need at least $2 billion to prepare, an amount that would cover the equip­ment, supplies, staff­ing, train­ing, and the other costs of adapt­ing our voting processes to with­stand the coronavirus. That fund­ing is not partisan and it is not a luxury. Time remains of the essence.”

Related resources:

Letter from 52 elec­tion offi­cials to Congress seek­ing funds to protect 2020 elec­tion against Covid-19 (Mar. 24, 2020; signa­ture collec­tion ongo­ing) 

Estim­ated Costs of Covid-19 Elec­tion Resi­li­ency Meas­ures (Bren­nan Center, Mar. 19, 2020)

How to Protect the 2020 Vote from the Coronavirus (Bren­nan Center, Mar. 16, 2020)

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