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Clerk López' Letter to Senators Bennet and Gardner

The following was sent to Colorado's US Senators from Clerk Paul López on July 29, 2020:

 

I am writing to urge you to support additional funding for elections in the new coronavirus stimulus bill. This will help Colorado counties administer safe, secure elections that protect voters and our elections staff.

As you know, Denver and other counties in our great state are facing significant fiscal challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. In Denver, we’ve been asked to reduce our 2020 budget by 12% so far with subsequent reductions expected. In less than 100 days, we will be conducting the general election during the pandemic, which increases our challenges with election judge shortages, physical space issues and additional services we know are needed such as curbside pick-up options. All of these measures have significantly added unplanned costs.

Although the CARES Act did provide $400 million in funding to help administer elections during the pandemic, the amount was inadequate given that we have 240 million eligible voters in the country, totaling roughly $1.67 per eligible voter for both the primary and general election cycles. That is simply not enough to cover these additional unplanned costs. Election offices are underfunded in general and most of the CARES Act funding was used during the primary election season, leaving our November general election at risk without additional help.

Again, we highly encourage you to support federal funding in the next round of coronavirus stimulus funding, to provide support to our 64 Colorado counties and across the country as we strive to run safe and secure elections this November.

In Solidarity,

Hon. Paul D. López, Clerk and Recorder

City and County of Denver

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