It may be unclear whether broad-reaching election integrity and voter access bills will ultimately be adopted but one thing is certain: Congress needs to help restore trust in our elections, especially after the Jan. 6 insurrection and recent state efforts to unduly restrict voter access. Voters should trust their election officials to administer elections impartially, and the restrictive changes being contemplated by many state legislators can only make those officials’ already challenging jobs even more difficult. As former election officials, we can attest to this problem firsthand.
One way to build on the successfully administered 2020 presidential election is to make the voting process more transparent. Nearly all local election jurisdictions now conduct elections using paper-based voting systems, and an increasing number are conducting post-election audits to confirm that the results are accurate as tabulated. To build on these measures and help address the lack of confidence across the nation in our elections, Congress should offer to provide the necessary funding to any states whose election officials wish to have secure live video feeds of their vote tabulation centers — where mail-in ballots are often received, verified, and counted.