We cannot leave our elections to chance

In response to yesterday’s primary elections in Kentucky, New York, and around the nation, Issue One Founder and CEO Nick Penniman released the following statement:

“These elections appear to have gone smoothly enough, despite widespread concern they would be marked by the dysfunction we’ve seen in Georgia, Wisconsin, and other elections. 

It’s a relief we didn’t see major problems yesterday, but we know what problems we could face down the line if we don’t act now.  If things go wrong this November, the repercussions will be monumental: a disaster in which the results could be widely viewed as inaccurate and the election illegitimate. 

Americans must have faith in their elections. Election officials and secretaries of state know the problems of voting during a pandemic, and they have the solutions. What’s missing is support from Congress to help those officials with the financial resources they need to implement the solutions at scale. One nonpartisan estimate found states currently have less than 20% of what they need. 

Unless emergency funding is released to the states as part of the next coronavirus stimulus package, we worry that a perfect storm will brew that may further the mistrust Americans already have in their government and stoke polarization and division. We cannot afford a November disaster in which the results are widely viewed as inaccurate or illegitimate. Enough is enough. Congress: states clearly need assistance. It’s time to answer their call.”