April 08, 2022
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Ranking Member and Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration with oversight over federal elections, announced that they have requested an update from the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) on its efforts to support state and local election officials with administering the 2022 midterm elections.
“As election officials administer the 2022 primary elections and prepare for the 2022 general election, we have heard about a number of challenges that they face,” the senators wrote. “The EAC plays a critical role in ensuring that election officials have the necessary information and resources to administer secure and successful elections, and it is important for the EAC to be prepared to support election officials as they work to address these obstacles.”
Based on issues raised by state and local election officials, the senators highlighted the need for the EAC to work with state and local election officials as they strengthen the cybersecurity of election systems, counter election-related disinformation campaigns, protect election officials against threats, and reliably procure election supplies including ballot paper and envelopes.
In November, Blunt and Klobuchar urged the EAC to provide state and local officials with information and guidance as they combat threats against election workers and administrators. In October, the senators held a Rules Committee hearing focused on the increasing threats directed at election officials and the ability of states and local governments to retain election officials and recruit workers to administer future elections.
The full letter is available HERE and below:
We write to request information about the support provided by the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to state and local governments in the administration of federal elections during the 2022 election cycle. As election officials administer the 2022 primary elections and prepare for the 2022 general election, we have heard about a number of challenges that they face. The EAC plays a critical role in ensuring that election officials have the necessary information and resources to administer secure and successful elections, and it is important for the EAC to be prepared to support election officials as they work to address these obstacles.
First, bolstering the cybersecurity of election systems remains a key challenge for state and local officials. The intelligence community has continued to warn that our elections remain a target for foreign adversaries seeking to compromise our election systems and conduct influence campaigns. While state and local election officials have made significant progress in improving election cybersecurity in recent years, challenges remain as many states are planning to upgrade their voter registration databases, update election software, and conduct vulnerability assessments ahead of the general election.
Second, election officials are continuing to institute measures to counter election-related misinformation and disinformation to help ensure voters understand and trust the election process. Effective voter education materials can serve as a constructive way not only to counter misinformation about voting and elections but to provide voters with accurate information so that they can better understand and fully participate in the election process.
Third, as we highlighted in a letter to you in November 2021, election officials continue to experience threats and abusive conduct. At a Rules Committee hearing last October, Kentucky’s Secretary of State warned that if we do not act, state and local governments will struggle to retain or recruit people to administer future elections.
Finally, in addition to concerns regarding election worker and volunteer recruitment, we have heard that some election officials are facing challenges in procuring election supplies like ballot paper and envelopes. Recently, the Election Infrastructure Subsector Coordinating Council established a working group to analyze reports of potential election supply shortages, including paper supplies, and make recommendations to vendors and election officials on ways to mitigate any challenges.
To ensure the EAC is successfully fulfilling its mission to assist state and local election officials with the challenges they are facing during this year’s election cycle, we request that you provide us with answers to the questions below by April 22, 2022:
Thank you for your attention to these important issues and for your efforts to ensure the safe and successful administration of our elections. We look forward to your response.