Cantwell, Colleagues Call for Increase in Election Security Funding to Protect Washington State, National Elections

State and local officials require significant resources to improve election security, modernize election infrastructure

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined 38 of her Senate colleagues in sending a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging an increase in funding for election security grants and the Election Assistance Commission (EAC). The increase in funds will ensure that officials have the resources they need to combat foreign interference and better protect elections in Washington state and across the country. 

“Today, more than at any other time in our nation's history, election officials face unique challenges that require federal support,” the senators wrote. “As we approach the 2020 elections, we must ensure that they have the resources they need to combat foreign interference and ensure that every American has easy access to the ballot box.” 

Established by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), the EAC is an independent, bipartisan commission charged with ensuring accessible, secure, and accurate elections. Since its creation, the EAC has provided essential assistance to state and local election officials, set voting standards, certified voting equipment, and administered the country's most comprehensive election survey, the Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS). 

“It is vital to ensure that the EAC, the only federal agency charged with improving federal elections, has the funding it needs to be successful,” the senators continued. 

Cantwell has been a leading voice in Congress on protecting critical U.S. infrastructure, including election systems and the energy grid, from cyber attacks. In 2018, she helped to secure $380 million in funding for grants to help states, including Washington, protect their election systems. 

In addition to Cantwell, the letter also was signed by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Michael Bennet (D-CO),Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Edward Markey (D-MA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). 

The full text of the letter can be found HERE.