In full transparency, the following is a media release from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s office. She was elected by voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve the state in Washington DC in the US Senate. She is a Democrat. (stock photo)
WASHINGTON DC – U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), led nine of their colleagues in introducing the Sustaining Our Democracy Act.
This legislation would provide $20 billion in mandatory federal funding over the next decade to help states and local governments support election administration, including by training and recruiting nonpartisan poll workers and election officials and increasing access to voting in underserved communities.
“Voting is the beating heart of our democracy, and we must ensure that states have the resources they need to conduct fair and robust elections. I’ve been calling on the federal government to allocate $20 billion in election funding for states and localities for years. I’m glad to partner with Senator Klobuchar on this effort — this bill is a critical step towards empowering Americans to participate in the democratic process,” said Senator Warren.
“Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy, but in recent years we have seen a barrage of threats seeking to undermine our elections. It is critical that we respond to these threats head-on by ensuring that state and local governments have the resources needed to strengthen the administration of our elections, protect election officials on the frontlines, and provide all eligible voters with the opportunity to make their voices heard,” said Senator Klobuchar. “From training more election workers to expanding polling places to making it easier for voters to cast ballots early and by mail, this legislation helps provide state and local governments with the funding they need to effectively administer elections and eliminate barriers to voting. I’ll keep fighting to make our democracy work for every American.”
The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Angus King (I-Maine), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.).
The legislation would provide funding to:
- Improve efficiency in the administration of federal elections;
- Secure election infrastructure, including upgrading voting equipment and voter registration systems, expanding voter registration and nonpartisan voter outreach activities, securing voting locations, expanding polling places and the availability of early and mail voting, and promoting cybersecurity;
- Recruit, train, and retain nonpartisan election officials and poll workers;
- Protect election officials from threats against them in the course of their work administering Federal elections; and
- Increase access to voting in federal elections for underserved communities, voters with disabilities, racial and language minority groups, military and overseas voters, and voters residing in Indian lands.
States and certain local governments would be required to submit a plan for approval in order to receive the allocated funds, detailing how the state intends to distribute resources and carry out election activities. The legislation would also prevent states from using funds in a way that may diminish the ability of eligible voters to vote.
Read the Bill Text here.