An open letter to Rep. Schakowsky.
  1. United States
  2. Ill.
  3. Letter

An Open Letter

To: Rep. Schakowsky

From: A verified voter in Skokie, IL

May 1

In a time when the public scrutiny of elections is higher than ever, elections offices require your support to meet the needs of the voters in their communities. They need consistent, adequate funding to meet the full need of elections offices across the country. To that end, I am writing to ask that you submit a programmatic appropriation request for no less than $400 million to be allocated for Election Assistance Commission Help America Votes Act grants for FY2025. I also urge you to include specific language in the request asking that two-thirds of the funds be sent directly to local election offices (where the need is greatest and local administrators best know how to spend funds), and the remainder to state election administrators to address statewide needs. This critical funding would be used to fund needed repairs and improvements to our nation’s critical election infrastructure. Years of unmet infrastructure needs have led to challenges such as melted voting equipment, polling place closures, and cyber and physical security threats that hurt public trust in election security and limit access. At the same time, election offices are struggling to bear the price of basic necessities amidst higher labor costs and ballot paper supply shortages. These challenges are not unique to any single jurisdiction, they harm rural communities and urban communities; big states and small states alike. As the 2025 election cycle approaches, greater investment from the federal government is necessary to ensure the security of that election and to keep these constraints from recurring with potentially worse effects. Local and state election officials face massive, increasing challenges to making our elections possible, from rising security threats to the growing stock of aging equipment in need of replacement. I understand that there are competing fiscal priorities, but this need cannot be ignored. The flat funding in the 2023 and 2024 fiscal year budgets was just not enough to fill the growing gaps in our election infrastructure. As you look to next year, I ask that you listen to local election officials rather than replicate a budget that has failed to meet their needs across the country. The federal government should adequately and responsibly invest in local election infrastructure in order to ensure efficient, safe, and fair elections across the country.

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