March 21, 2024

FY24 Congressional Budget Preserves Funding for Local Election Departments

CHICAGO — The Election Infrastructure Initiative (EII) released the following statement after Congressional leadership released the final funding bills for the FY24 budget year, which included funding for $55 million in Help America Vote Act (HAVA) grants.

“The good news is that Congress has chosen to continue funding for election departments by again funding Help America Vote Act grants,” said Tiana Epps-Johnson, executive director for the Center for Tech and Civic Life. “The challenge is that the $55 million in grants for election departments is just not enough to put local election officials on a path to sustainable, regular funding for election departments in future years. And even more than that, we thank the over 750 State and Local Election Officials who signed petitions, submitted appropriations requests, built relationships with their Members of Congress, and spoke up to make their needs clear, and for the countless Members of Congress who fought hard to keep this funding in the bill this year during a very difficult budget process. We’ll be back and fighting with and for local election departments to have the resources they need to run secure, inclusive and accessible elections for all Americans no matter where they live.”

“Key to a government that is responsive to its constituents is adequate funding to support democratic efforts. While we’re happy to see Congress continue to allocate funding in the form of $55 million in HAVA grants — and are incredibly grateful for every election official, election department, and Member of Congress who advocated for this funding — we know this amount will just barely scrape the surface of need for elections offices nationwide,” said Sam Oliker-Friedland, executive director for the Institute for Responsive Government. “To solely maintain or improve Arizona’s or Georgia’s election cybersecurity, it would cost $19.2 million and $26 million respectively — that doesn’t even account for properly staffing elections or replacing outdated voting machines. Americans deserve a secure, efficient and modern election system, and elections workers deserve the resources to properly run them. And it’s high time Congress provided adequate resources to make the basic mechanics of a democratic nation work.”

According to a recent study from MIT, public spending on election services ranks near the bottom, about the same as what local governments spend on parking facilities.

The Department of Homeland Security in 2017 officially designated election infrastructure as “part of the existing Government Facilities critical infrastructure sector.” DHS noted that election infrastructure “is vital to our national interests, and cyberattacks on this country are becoming more sophisticated, and bad cyber actors — ranging from nation-states, cybercriminals and hacktivists — are becoming more sophisticated and dangerous.”

Unfortunately, despite the designation from DHS, the federal government does not consistently fund local election departments. EII published a report on the cost to fully fund elections in each state.

Previously, EII rallied a bipartisan group of state and local officials from around the country that called on Congress to allocate funding to local and state election administrators for secure election infrastructure.


The Center for Tech and Civic Life is a nonpartisan nonprofit harnessing the promise of technology to modernize the American voting experience. We connect Americans with the information they need to become and remain civically engaged, and ensure that our elections are more professional, inclusive, and secure.

The Institute for Responsive Government is a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to ensuring state and federal governments work effectively for the very people they serve. IRG provides data, research and expertise to elected officials in order to find practical policy solutions that make government systems more efficient, accessible, and responsive.