December 20, 2022 – The Senate just released an appropriations bill for fiscal year 2023. It includes the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act and $75 million in funding for election security and infrastructure. 

Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, had the following reaction:

“The appropriations bill just released by the Senate contains the first reform aimed at preventing another insurrection. We urge Congress to pass it. Reforming the Electoral Count Act, which has broad bipartisan support, would be a major accomplishment. It would eliminate ambiguities in the electoral count process that former president Trump and his allies seized on as they tried to overturn the 2020 election. Anyone looking to undermine future election results would have fewer options, and that would be a victory for our democracy.

“But we need more victories if we are to close the insurrectionist playbook. Before and since the 2020 election, election deniers have been exploiting gaps and inconsistencies in election law. Congress must strengthen guardrails against abuse and establish minimum standards that any voter in any state can count on – baseline requirements ensuring the right to vote and to have that vote counted, free from partisan manipulation. And critically, lawmakers must reestablish protections against racial discrimination in voting. 

“The bill released today would provide $75 million in election funding, significantly less than what was in the president’s budget. This funding, while helpful, falls far short of what election officials of both parties said they need to continue to keep elections fair, accurate, and secure going into the 2024 election. They need more federal funding to pay for critical updates to equipment and security, including increased protections against harassment and violence. We hope Congress will step up in coming months to protect the nation’s election workers.”

Brennan Center Resources