Secretary of State Jena Griswold joined 40 other local and state elections officials in calling on Congress to provide election funding in excess of the Senate’s proposed $140 million in advance of the November general election.
“$140 million is a start but it is simply not enough to give all local election officials the support needed to plan and pay for the changes that will be necessary for elections in light of how COVID-19 is creating new norms that cannot be ignored as we continue forward,” the officials’ letter to House and Senate leaders reads.
Congress has already passed two major bills in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and a third bill to provide an economic lifeline to laid off workers and imperiled businesses is forthcoming. The Senate has proposed $140 million in elections funding for states, while the House of Representatives has suggested $4 billion.
Gridswold’s office did not immediately respond to a question about how much funding she would like to see Colorado receive and for what purpose. The letter only requested "substantial funding."
The New York-based Brennan Center for Justice coordinated the letter. The center calculated that up to $2 billion dollars would be necessary, including for up to $1.4 billion for making all-mail balloting an option. Over $271 million would go towards modifications to in-person voting, including enhanced cleaning protocols at polling places and expanded early voting.
Debuting vote-by-mail systems in a matter of months would lessen the costs of in-person voting. However, the center referenced the failings of the Iowa Democratic caucuses in cautioning that “putting too much strain on an entirely new system is sure to result in breakdowns and failures.”