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Press Release

Brennan Center Statement on News that Senate Will Support More Money for Election Security

Washington, D.C. - The Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amendment today that would provide $250 million in additional federal funding for election security.

September 19, 2019

Washington, D.C. - The Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amendment today that would provide $250 million in additional federal funding for election security. The following quote is reaction from Lawrence Norden, director of the Electoral Reform Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law:

“News that the Senate is planning to support money for election security is an important step in the right direction after months of back-and-forth. But the fight to secure the nation’s election infrastructure is far from over. State and local election officials have said they need more resources to detect, defend and recover against foreign adversaries trying to interfere in our democracy, and to prevent hacks or other irregularities. The House funding bill provides more money than offered by the Senate and includes parameters on spending to ensure the most critical election security priorities are addressed first, like replacing paperless voting machines and implementing audits that check electronic results with paper records of votes. As both chambers negotiate a final spending bill, it’s heartening to see bipartisan agreement that more resources are needed now for election security. Now they must do the work to get the final bill done right.”

Additional Brennan Center resources on election security include: 

What Does Election Security Cost? - Brennan Center experts estimate that it will cost $2.153 billion nationwide over five years to fund four key election security priorities. These include: cybersecurity support for under-resourced local election jurisdictions; replacement and upgrades to election-related computer systems and websites, particularly those related to voter registration; replacement of antiquated and insecure voting machines; and implementation of robust post-election audits to ensure accuracy of unofficial election results.

Voting Machine Security: Where We Stand Six Months Before the New Hampshire Primary - This analysis highlights progress states have made in recent years to replace outdated and insecure voting machines, and to implement robust post-election audits. It also shows what work remains in both areas, including an estimate that as many as 16 million voters could cast ballots on paperless machines in 2020.

Defending Elections: Federal Funding Needs for State Election Security - This paper examines how six key states (Alabama, Arizona, Illinois, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania) have allocated their share of the 2018 federal election security grants and documents needs for additional election security funding.

Media Contact: Rebecca Autrey, rebecca.autrey@nyu.edu, 202-753-5904