[This analysis was done in collaboration with Verified Voting.]
Under the terms of the FY2020 budget deal, states will receive $425 million within months to start to strengthen the security of our nation’s election infrastructure. This near-term funding is the product of tireless work by a cross-partisan coalition of advocates and their supporters in Congress, as well as a critical acknowledgment from Congress that protecting our elections is a matter of national security. However, the funding is only a first step, as many in Congress have acknowledged, and further action from Congress, the states and local election officials will be necessary in order to ensure that future elections are secure.
In addition to the need to build robust resiliency plans in case of a successful hack, the Brennan Center has identified four election security needs that deserve particular attention: 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 tabulation audits to check that the paper ballots were counted accurately. We’ve estimated the nationwide five-year cost for these basic security items to be a net total of approximately $2.153 billion.
Expected New Funding
The new federal funds will be distributed to states according to a formula from HAVA, taking into account the voting age population of each state. We estimate that states will receive the following amounts. These figures do not include the 20 percent match that the FY2020 budget package requires states to contribute to their own election security needs.
|State||Expected Funding (in millions)|
|District of Columbia||$3.0|
|Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands||$0.6|
|United States Virgin Islands||$0.6|