Pa. Secretary of State calls for federal lawmakers to support Biden’s $15 billion election funding proposal

In this file photo, voters line up outside the B’nai B’rith apartments on Election Day in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

In this file photo, voters line up outside the B’nai B’rith apartments on Election Day in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

Pennsylvania’s Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman called on federal lawmakers to support President Joe Biden’s $15 billion proposal for increased election funding during a roundtable discussion today.

Chapman spoke at a field hearing held in Upper Darby by the state Committee on House Administration and included testimony from election officials and experts who oversaw the tumultuous 2020 vote.

Chapman says that experience should inform the next election cycle.

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“In addition to the pandemic, new threats and new election law required counties to upgrade their systems and machines and while the federal government provided some support through the CARES Act, that was not enough to meet the need,” she said. “Nonprofits stepped in at the eleventh hour, providing grants to the state and every county that applied. County officials from both major parties have acknowledged that those grants filled a critical gap.”

Chapman also called for extending the canvassing period during which poll workers can process mail-in ballots. Currently they can only start work the morning of election day, which is part of why Pennsylvania’s results took days to finally come out.

She called on state and federal governments to share more of the burden of paying for election operations. Counties currently foot most of the bill.

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