Denver Clerk and Recorder Paul D. López has asked U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner to include additional funding for election administration in an upcoming coronavirus relief bill to augment the $400 million Congress already allocated.
“In Denver, we’ve been asked to reduce our 2020 budget by 12% so far with subsequent reductions expected,” López wrote in a pair of letters. “In less than 100 days, we will be conducting the general election during the pandemic, which increases our challenges with election judge shortages, physical space issues and additional services we know are needed such as curbside pick-up options.”
He estimated that the $400 million from the CARES Act amounted to $1.67 per voter nationwide for both the primary and general elections. “That is simply not enough,” López added.
In April, Judd Choate, Colorado’s elections director, wrote to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission requesting $6.7 million to address remote working, purchase cleaning supplies, rent larger polling places, and conduct a public information campaign, among other uses.
The EAC granted the amount, and the state provided $1.3 million as a match. Most states received roughly what they requested, with the exception of Utah and Oklahoma, which received more than double the $2 million and $2.7, respectively, that they asked for.
Currently, Senate Republicans have not proposed any additional election assistance in their proposed relief measure for fear that it would "federalize" elections, The Hill reports. The U.S. House of Representatives passed in May a Democratic proposal to give $3.6 billion for voting.
This article has been updated.