CARES Act Protects Elections without the Mandates

Mar 27, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) issued the following statement after the House passed the Senate's COVID-19 assistance package for Americans. The CARES Act will provide $400 million to the Election Assistance Commission to help states prepare for the 2020 elections amid the coronavirus outbreak.  

This bipartisan agreement from the Senate was stalled for several days this week after House Democrats pushed their own coronavirus response proposal and its outrageous demands for federal mandates states would have been forced adopt within the seven months leading up to the presidential election, like allowing high school students to be poll watchers, forcing no-excuse absentee voting without allowing states to require identification as a condition of obtaining the ballot, and nationalizing the controversial practice of ballot harvesting. The CARES Act, however, assists and protects our nations elections without the federal mandates. 

"I'm grateful to the Senate for their perseverance over these last few days to come to a bipartisan agreement on COVID-19 assistance. Despite the holdup from Speaker Pelosi, the legislation we passed today will provide much-needed help to the American people without the liberal wish list that was in the House Democrats' bill, including the federal mandates for elections," said Ranking Member Davis. "As I said before, states are already working around the clock to keep their elections functioning during this national emergency. The last thing they need is for the federal government to impose time consuming mandates."

"Thanks to the hard work of Majority Leader McConnell and the Senate, the Election Assistance Commission will be receiving $400 million in grants to distribute to states for the purpose of preventing the spread of, preparing for, and responding to coronavirus. These grants, without mandates, allow states to remain in control of the electoral process and focus on administering their elections in the best way possible for their state's unique needs. During these uncertain times, Americans should trust that their votes will be counted and protected no matter the circumstances, and CARES Act will help ensure exactly that." 

CARES Will Help Protect our Elections: 
The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) will receive $400 million in grants to states to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, for the 2020 federal election cycle.

  • The EAC has 30 days to distribute the grants to the states.
  • Twenty days before every federal election in the 2020 cycle, each state must submit a report with a full account of its uses for the payment and an explanation of how those uses went toward prevention, preparation, and response to coronavirus.
  • Within three days of receiving this report, the EAC must send copies to the Committees on Appropriations, the Committee on House Administration, and the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.
  • All unused money as of December 31, 2020, is to be returned to the Treasury.
  • These grants allow states to remain in complete control of the entire electoral process. 

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) will receive $9.1 million to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally



116th Congress