Since 2020, local election administration in the United States has increasingly drawn the attention of national media organizations and state and federal lawmakers.

Elections in the United States are administered in a highly decentralized process through which each state shapes its own election laws. These state laws, in turn, shape the roles counties play in the months and weeks leading up to Election Day.

The federal government also plays a role through the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which serves as the federal clearinghouse for election related technical assistance and makes grants when funding is available to aid states and local governments. Still, the majority of election responsibilities are concentrated at the state and local level.

The intergovernmental partnership is crucial to the integrity of elections, but it requires a delicate balance where one level of government does not overwhelm the others and recognizes the important role counties play in administering a secure and accurate election. The county role in election administration is vital to the democratic process and should be recognized as such.

These early months of this election year are a key time for county leaders to set the stage for this election cycle and communicate to our federal partners that counties administer safe, secure and accurate elections.

In the years following the 2020 presidential election a significantly higher volume of election bills were introduced in both the U.S. Congress and state legislatures across the country as compared to historic levels. As such, it is also a great time for county leaders to advocate for county election priorities to strengthen local election administration at the federal level.

With a split Congress and the slim majorities held by both Democrats in the U.S. Senate and Republicans in the U.S. House, bipartisan compromise will continue to be necessary to advance county election priorities in the 118th Congress.

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