WASHINGTON – Committee on House Administration’s Republican leader Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) released the following statement upon sending a letter to Chairperson Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) asking for bipartisan cooperation in election legislation to ensure states’ needs are being put first amid the coronavirus pandemic. This request comes in response to a letter from the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) expressing their gratitude, while also raising a few concerns with the previous the CARES Act, which provided $400 million to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) in funding to distribute to states. NASS found certain requirements in the CARES Act impeding to accepting and implementing these timely resources, including states being required to 1) match funds by 20%, 2) spend the money by December 31st, 3) report to the EAC no later than 20 days following the election; and 4) states want reimbursement for money already spent in coronavirus preparation.
Prior to the CARES Act, House Democrats put forth a partisan coronavirus relief bill that proposed several federal mandates for states to adopt within the seven months leading up to the presidential election. While the CARES Act ultimately left out these partisan mandates, Democrats and Republicans must come together in any future stimulus package to ensure that states can immediately access the resources they need to adjust their elections processes to protect Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.
“These state and local administrators are on the front lines, managing elections and working around the clock to protect Americans’ right to the political process. It’s our job as the federal government to assist them by providing easily accessible resources, not to impede their administrative process by inundating states with costly and time consuming federal mandates that would be nearly impossible to securely implement before November,” said Ranking Member Davis. “To be clear, I support states’ decisions for their elections that best suit their unique needs, whether their decisions are to expand Vote By Mail or other methods of voting in order to follow social distancing guidelines, as long as these methods of voting are secure and reliable. Now more than ever, Americans should be able to trust in their election systems and depend on their votes being counted and their voices being heard.”
In the letter to Chairperson Lofgren, Ranking Member Davis writes:
“I write to request that we work together to address the concerns outlined by these election officials, and that we do not implement a federalized approach that will hinder states from successfully executing our elections.”
“States are working around the clock to ensure our elections are safe and secure in this time of crisis. If circumstances warrant consideration of additional legislation to address COVID-19 issues, I stand ready to work together to balance the needs of local election officials and appropriate federal oversight to ensure a safe and secure election in November. We do not know yet what the status of COVID-19 will be in November, but we must work together to guarantee that public confidence in our democracy does not diminish in these difficult times.”
Read the letter from Ranking Member Davis to Chairperson Zoe Lofgren by clicking here.
Click here to read the letter from NASS to the House Administration Committee.
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