Skip to content
Search

Latest Stories

Top Stories

Democratic state officials call on Biden to boost election funding

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson was on of 14 signatories on the letter.

Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Image

Editor's note: This story has been updated to make clear that proposed election spending has not been included in enacted spending bills. It was included in proposed legislation that has not passed.

The top election officials in 14 states on Monday asked the Biden administration to include billions of dollars for election infrastructure in the next budget proposal, citing the financial strain of Covid-19, cybersecurity and a shift to voting by mail.

The request — for $5 billion in fiscal 2023 and a total of $20 billion over 10 years — would go toward equipment, facilities, training and security, according to a letter signed by 14 state officials.

All signatories are Democrats, except Veronica Degraffenried, the nonpartisan acting secretary of state in Pennsylvania. She has been nominated for the post by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.


“As the lead election officials of our respective states, we are entrusted with conducting, funding, and supporting local, state, and federal elections in jurisdictions across the country,” the letter states. “Election security and integrity are a vital cornerstone of our democracy. But because of years of underinvestment by the federal government, too many voters and election workers contend with elections infrastructure that has reached the end of its shelf life.”

Sign up for The Fulcrum newsletter

While much of the letter focuses on the need to update systems and equipment, it also mentions ongoing threats against election personnel. It argues that “we’re living in a climate where election workers are routinely being besieged, attacked, and threatened,” and points to a Homeland Security Department notice warning of increased calls for election-related violence.

This request follows a similar pitch made to congressional leaders in September. But the extra funding has not been included in any enacted spending bills, so the state officials have turned to the White House.

“Secretaries of state from every part of the country are feeling a real sense of urgency around meeting the deep and growing election infrastructure needs at the local and state levels,” said Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “We call upon President Biden to prioritize this funding in his 2023 budget proposal and to work with us and local election officials to ensure we have the support required to run secure and accessible elections for the short and long-term.”

On Tuesday, the Election Infrastructure Initiative — which, like the letter, is associated with the nonpartisan Center for Tech and Civic Life, released a report that claims state and local governments need $53 billion over 10 years to modernize election infrastructure.

“Election administration is one of this country’s most decentralized tasks. More than 10,000 jurisdictions, nearly all at the county or city level, manage our country’s elections. Each jurisdiction is responsible for funding its own election infrastructure,” the report states. “And dangerously for our democracy, that funding has not kept up with the deep and accelerating needs posed by cybersecurity threats, physical threats to election staff, and the growing need to provide voting options across different modalities, including in-person on election day, mail voting, and early voting.”

Read More

Wegovy box
Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

How Congress can quickly make Ozempic, Wegovy affordable

Pearl, the author of “ChatGPT, MD,” teaches at both the Stanford University School of Medicine and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is a former CEO of The Permanente Medical Group.

A whopping one in eight U.S. adults have taken GLP-1 drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic for weight loss and related conditions. Their popularity and efficacy have sparked a prescription-writing frenzy in recent years, leaving both medications on the Food and Drug Administration's drug shortage list since May 2023.

Keep ReadingShow less
Bar graph of shopping carts
Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images

Have prices increased 40 percent to 50 percent since Trump left office?

This fact brief was originally published by Wisconsin Watch. Read the original here. Fact briefs are published by newsrooms in the Gigafact network, and republished by The Fulcrum. Visit Gigafact to learn more.

Have prices increased 40 percent to 50 percent since Trump left office?

No.

Cumulative inflation since former President Donald Trump left office in January 2021 through May 2024 was 20.1 percent according to data from the Federal Reserve’s Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, or CPI-U.

Trump told a crowd on June 18 in Racine, Wis., that "real inflation" is more than twice that.

Keep ReadingShow less
White House

Whoever occupies the Whtie House next year will have the opportunity to make the federal workforce more efficient.

DEA/M. BORCHI/Getty Images

Project 2025: Managing the bureaucracy

Breslin is the Joseph C. Palamountain Jr. Chair of Political Science at Skidmore College and author of “A Constitution for the Living: Imagining How Five Generations of Americans Would Rewrite the Nation’s Fundamental Law.”

This is part of a series offering a nonpartisan counter to Project 2025, a conservative guideline to reforming government and policymaking during the first 180 days of a second Trump administration. The Fulcrum's "Cross-Partisan Project 2025" relies on unbiased critical thinking, reexamines outdated assumptions, and uses reason, scientific evidence, and data in analyzing and critiquing Project 2025

Efficiency is not a word that often comes to mind when contemplating the federal bureaucracy. At almost 3 million workers strong, and representing an eye-popping 2 percent of the entire American labor force, the federal bureaucracy is a behemoth. Add to that eight times as many federal contractors and no one — not Democrats and not Republicans — can claim the bureaucratic sector is streamlined.

Donald Devine, Dennis Dean Kirk and Paul Dans, the authors of chapter 3 of the Heritage Foundation’s “Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise” (aka Project 2025), understand the numbers. And the problem. Or at least I thought they did.

Keep ReadingShow less
Protestors call for health care beneifts

People demonstrate in support of health care in 2017 in Montana, which expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

William Campbell-Corbis via Getty Images

Has Medicaid expansion in states improved health outcomes?

This fact brief was originally published by EconoFact. Read the original here. Fact briefs are published by newsrooms in the Gigafact network, and republished by The Fulcrum. Visit Gigafact to learn more.

Has Medicaid expansion in states improved health outcomes?

Yes.

Studies have shown that Medicaid expansion in states does lead to improved health outcomes.

Keep ReadingShow less
People at a press conference. One has a sign that reads "Contraception is health care."

Supporters hold signs as Sen. Tammy Duckworth speaks during a news conference on the Right to Contraception Act in D.C. on June 5.

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Do about 90 percent of Americans support access to contraception?

This fact brief was originally published by Wisconsin Watch. Read the original here. Fact briefs are published by newsrooms in the Gigafact network, and republished by The Fulcrum. Visit Gigafact to learn more.

Do about 90 percent of Americans support access to contraception?

Yes.

Some 91 percent of registered voters said in a national poll released June 11, 2024, that birth control should be legal (73 percent said they feel strongly, 18 percent said somewhat strongly).

Keep ReadingShow less