After months of blocking additional funding for election security measures, Senate Majority Leader “Moscow Mitch” McConnell now backs legislation that will provide another $250 million to help states protect the vote. However, McConnell is still facing criticism, as the $250 million in funding falls far short of the billions experts estimate states will need between now and 2024 in order to protect elections from security threats.

The County Commissioner Association of Pennsylvania estimates the cost of voting machines statewide will be $125 million. Pennsylvania counties are under state orders to replace their voting machines, in light of the assessment by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that Russian hackers tried to access Pennsylvania’s voter database ahead of the 2016 election (Illinois’ voter database was breached as well in 2016). Half of the new funds McConnell proposes could be spent on one small aspect of election security in just one state.

The bare minimum cost of securing the U.S. election system is $2.153 billion over the next 5 years, according to an estimate by the Brennan Center at NYU Law School. This isn’t just about buying new voting systems. You have to take into account maintenance, staffing costs, web and cyber security and other recurring expenses.

Moscow Mitch needs to stop politicizing election security and provide realistic funding to assure the public that their vote will be counted as cast.

Uchill, Joe “$250M for election security is a fraction of what’s needed”

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