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NICD’s CommonSense American Program Co-Publishes a New Report on Elections Funding

By May 16, 2022May 31st, 2022No Comments

The National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD) is proud to announce that today its CommonSense American program published with the MIT Election Data + Science Lab a new report: The Cost of Conducting Elections

Fulfilling the Need for a Non-Advocacy Assessment of Election Costs

NICD Executive Director Keith Allred explained, “This report is the first of its kind. While there has been excellent work on funding needs for elections in the United States, there has not been a report assessing the existing research in non-advocacy way.” It provides an objective assessment of the funding needed for the secure, accurate, and accessible elections free from voter fraud that Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike want. It assesses the funding needs from cybersecurity to audits, from election worker security to voter access, and from verified voter registration to secure voting technology with paper ballots.

The Question of Federal Elections Funding

In addition to reviewing the available data on the overall funding need, the report also describes the strongest arguments for and against the federal government funding for that state and local governments responsible for conducting American elections. This addresses another crucial part of the debate as Congress considers whether to provide new federal elections funding.

Partnering with the MIT Election Data + Science Lab

NICD is particularly proud to have partnered with the widely respected MIT Election Data + Science Lab in producing this report. Allred noted, “Multiple Republican and Democratic national elections experts told us that Professor Charles Stewart III and his team at the MIT Elections Lab are the best empirical elections researchers in the country. Our experience with Professor Stewart and his team certainly confirms that conclusion.” The report is also available on the MIT Election Lab’s website.

Supporting CommonSense American’s Elections Legislation Brief

NICD worked with the MIT Election Lab to produce the report to provide crucial information for CommonSense American’s (CSA) brief on federal elections legislation. Recognizing that funding for state and local elections is one potential area of bipartisan agreement in Congress, NICD thought it was crucial to have a dispassionate analysis of the data that was independent of advocacy for or against more federal funding. This report provides a critical factual basis for that section of the CSA brief. The brief which will shortly be made available to members of CommonSense American, Congress, and the public, also describes the strongest arguments for and against Electoral Count Act and Presidential Transition Act updates as well as for election worker security measures.