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.