Written for North Country Now on August 10, 2020

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, who represents St. Lawrence County, is a cosponsor of the Emergency Assistance for Safe Elections (EASE) Act.

The legislation “will help states ensure those who want to vote in person can do so safely,” said a press release from Stefanik’s office.

It provides $400 million in funding for state and local election administrators, for a variety of election purposes including:

• $200 million to help local election administrators ensure polling places are clean and safe for voters. Funds could be used for disinfecting equipment for voting machines, personal protective equipment (PPE) for poll workers, etc.

• $100 million to help recruit a new generation of poll workers by establishing a program to help pay part of the student loan costs of people who serve as poll workers.

• $100 million to help clean outdated voter rolls and maintain accurate voter registration lists.

• Updates to the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which established voluntary guidelines for voting machines, to secure non-voting technology.

• Banning of ballot harvesting, where political operatives go door-to-door collecting ballots.

“States are facing an unprecedented challenge in keeping this year’s elections safe and secure for all voters and volunteers, while implementing the proper protocols to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19,” said Congresswoman Stefanik.

“This important legislation will provide our local election administrators with the resources they need to keep polling places clean, provide the proper PPE to volunteers, and make sure that voters can either safely vote in person or opt to submit a mail-in ballot. This bill will ensure the mail-in voting process is more secure and help our states as they navigate this challenge. I will continue to support legislation and initiatives to protect our elections and ensure that North Country voters are able to participate safely and securely.”

“A recent poll found that 59% of Americans still prefer to vote in person,” said Congressman Rodney Davis. “The EASE Act helps election administrators, in states like New York and others, offer people a safe way to vote in person and makes mail-in voting options more secure by ensuring their voter rolls are clean and ballots are only mailed to, and from, the individuals actually residing at that residence. I appreciate Rep. Elise Stefanik’s work on this important issue and I’m hopeful we can get this bill included in the next coronavirus relief package. It’s critical we help states start planning now.”

You can read the full article at https://www.northcountrynow.com