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Congressional Testimony: The Impact of COVID-19 on Voting Rights and Election Administration

Lawrence Norden testified before the Subcommittee on Elections of the Committee on House Administration, in a hearing entitled “The Impact of COVID-19 on Voting Rights and Election Administration: Ensuring Safe and Fair Elections.”

Published: June 23, 2020

On June 11, 2020, Elec­tion Reform Program Director Lawrence Norden test­i­fied before the Subcom­mit­tee on Elec­tions of the Commit­tee on House Admin­is­tra­tion in a hear­ing entitled “The Impact of COVID-19 on Voting Rights and Elec­tion Admin­is­tra­tion: Ensur­ing Safe and Fair Elec­tions.”

The Bren­nan Center testi­mony emphas­ized five steps required to ensure fair and safe elec­tions this year: (1) prepar­ing for changes in the way voters register, includ­ing expand­ing the capa­city of on-line voter regis­tra­tion systems; (2) increas­ing the capa­city and secur­ity of the mail ballot system, and provid­ing every voter with the option of using that system; (3) taking addi­tional steps to ensure that all Amer­ic­ans can vote safely in person; (4) imple­ment­ing cyber­se­cur­ity meas­ures made neces­sary as a result of changes caused by the pandemic; and (5) educat­ing voters about all of the above changes so they can cast their ballots with confid­ence.

The testi­mony went on to stress that the $400 million Congress gave states in March as part of the CARES Act was insuf­fi­cient given the massive changes that are neces­sary to ensure free, fair and safe elec­tions this year and urged Congress to provide addi­tional support imme­di­ately. The Bren­nan Center has estim­ated the national cost of imple­ment­ing its full set of recom­mend­a­tions for running safe and secure elec­tions in 2020 at approx­im­ately $4 billion. 

Read the full testi­mony here.