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Questions & Answers

About EAC

Voting System Certification

A question about Voting?

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HAVA Funds

Appropriate Uses of HAVA Funds

May a State lease equipment?

Leasing equipment is considered an allowable expense under OMB Circular A-87, according to the limitations and conditions of Attachment B, Section 37,

Rental Costs of Buildings and Materials. The limitations include that “sale and lease back” arrangements cannot cost the state or local government more than when it owned the property. The costs include expenses such as depreciation or use allowance, maintenance, taxes, and insurance. A “less-than-arms-length” agreement (i.e., a state government established a corporation to own the property then leases it back to the state) cannot cost the state or local government more than if title had vested in the state or local government. Rental costs under leases which are required to be treated as capital leases under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are allowable only up to the amount that would be allowed had the state or local government purchased the property on the date the lease agreement was executed. The provisions of Financial Accounting Standards Board Statement 13, Accounting for Leases, determine whether a lease is a capital lease. The determination is based on factors such as if the lease transfers ownership of the property to the lessee by the end of the lease term; contains a bargain purchase option; the lease term is equal to 75 percent or more of the estimated economic life of the leased property unless the lease term falls within the last 25 percent of the total estimated economic life of the leased property; or the present value at the beginning of the lease term of the minimum lease payments excluding executory costs such as insurance, maintenance, and taxes to be paid by the lessor, including any profit, equals or exceeds 90 percent of the excess of the fair value of the leased property to the lessor at the inception of the lease.

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May HAVA funds be used to support de minimis uses of equipment by the State for non-HAVA related purposes?

Yes. Consistent with standard Federal guidelines, the State may authorize use in the office or official duty station on an occasional basis, provided that the use involves minimal or negligible additional expense and does not interfere with official business. Employees are expected to exercise common sense and good judgment in the personal use of equipment. The conduct of official business always takes precedence over any limited personal use. Such personal use would be so small that accounting for it would be unreasonable or impractical.

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May HAVA funds be used to purchase cellular phones in administering elections and maintaining contact with polling places on Election Day?

Cellular phones would generally be considered an allowable cost. However, because this expense is not directly related to meeting any of the Title III requirements, the expense could be allocated only to Section 101 funds or Section 251 funds pursuant to Section 251(b).

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May a State use HAVA funds to purchase motorized vehicles for use in voter outreach efforts?

While motorized vehicles are an allowable cost when they are used for voter education pursuant to Section 101(b)(1)(C) of HAVA, there are significant issues related to allocability and cost reasonableness that must still be considered in assessing the appropriateness of such an expense. For example, if the vehicle will not be used exclusively for the purpose of voter outreach or other activities associated with improving the administration of Federal elections and are used for purposes unrelated to improving the administration of Federal elections, only that percentage of costs associated with the administration of Federal elections can be charged to the HAVA grant. Even in this instance, the appropriate percentage of cost could only be allocated to the funding programs under Section 101 or Section 251(b). As for the reasonableness analysis, it may be more reasonable to rent a vehicle rather than to purchase, insure and maintain vehicles that will only be used infrequently or periodically. 

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May a State use HAVA funds to purchase forklifts used to move and store voting equipment within a warehouse?

Yes. Section 101 funds may be used to train election officials, poll workers, and election volunteers. Section 251 can only be used for the educational costs that benefit Federal elections, as those funds are restricted to improving the administration of Federal elections funds subject to the requirements of Section 251(b). The State should carefully consider the prudence of funding an ongoing expense such as printing and distribution charges with a one-time funding source like these HAVA funds. These costs will inevitably be assumed by the State or local government upon the exhaustion of Federal funds.

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May HAVA funds be used to purchase office furniture (tables, cabinets and desks) for the new voting systems equipment and statewide voter registration database equipment?

Office furniture would generally be considered an allowable cost as long as such cost is not covered by the maintenance of effort requirements imposed by Section 254(a)(7). The purchase of office furniture is only allowable if it can be demonstrated that the furniture would improve the administration of Federal elections. As such, those costs could only be allocated to the funding programs under Sections 101 and 251(b). Factors such as allocability and cost reasonableness must still be considered. For example if the office furniture will not be used exclusively for the purpose of improving the administration of Federal elections, only that percentage of costs associated with the administration of Federal elections can be charged to the HAVA grant. Furthermore, the cost for the furniture must be reasonable as compared to what the election jurisdiction is getting.

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May HAVA funds be used to purchase storage cabinets, security cages and shelving for storage of ballots to secure and store ballots as required by State and Federal law?

Storage cabinets and shelving are allowable costs as long as they are not covered by the required maintenance of effort. See Section 254(a)(7). Because this expense would not be directly related to meeting any of the Title III requirements, it could be allocated only to funding programs under Sections 101 and 251(b). Cost principles such as allocability and cost reasonableness must still be considered. For example, if the security cages and shelving will not be used exclusively for the purpose of improving the administration of federal elections, only that percentage of costs associated with the administration of federal elections can be charged to the HAVA grant. 

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May HAVA funds be used to purchase high speed letter openers to process absentee ballots?

High speed letter openers are an allowable cost for this stated purpose. As this expense is not directly related to meeting any of the Title III requirements, the cost can be allocated only to the Section 101 funding program or to Section 251 funds pursuant to Section 251(b). Allocability and cost reasonableness must be considered in assessing the propriety of this type of expense. If the letter opener will not be used exclusively for the purpose of opening absentee ballots and other mail unrelated to improving the administration of Federal elections, only that percentage of costs associated with the administration of Federal elections can be charged to the HAVA grant. Similarly, depending on the volume of mail it may be more reasonable to manually open the letters. 

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May HAVA funds be used for a mail processing system that will assemble, sort, label and affix proper postage amounts for all outgoing mail, including absentee ballots from the Elections Office?

This type of mail processing system is an allowable cost for the stated purpose. Because this expense is not directly related to meeting any of the Title III requirements, it may be allocated only to the funding programs established in Section 101 or Section 251 funds pursuant to Section 251(b). However, allocability and cost reasonableness must be considered to fully assess the appropriateness of such an expense. For example, if the mail processing system will not be used exclusively for the purpose of processing mail related to improving the administration of Federal elections, only that percentage of costs associated with the administration of Federal elections can be charged to the HAVA grant. Similarly, depending on the volume of mail it may be more reasonable to manually process the mail. 

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May a State use HAVA funds to purchase absentee voting equipment?

States and its counties may use funds distributed under Section 101 or Section 251 to purchase voting equipment used to conduct absentee voting as long as that equipment meets the requirements of Section 301(a) of HAVA. The definition of voting system in Section 301(b) of HAVA includes equipment used to administer absentee voting. As such, no pre-approval from the EAC is required prior to purchase. However, cost reasonableness must still be considered in selecting the equipment. The cost must be reasonably related to the value of the equipment purchased.

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May a State or local government use HAVA funds to purchase additional accessible voting equipment?

Yes. States and its counties may use funds distributed under Section 101 or Section 251 to purchase additional accessible voting equipment as long as that equipment meets the requirements of Section 301(a) of HAVA. 

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May HAVA funds be used to purchase voting systems with Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) capabilities?

The answer depends on whether the purchase of VVPAT is part of the purchase of a compliant voting system (under Section 301(a)) or if it is purchased as a retrofit for a compliant voting system. If it is a component of a voting system that is being purchased, then Section 251 funds can be used to the same extent that they are available to meet the requirements of Title III. However, if the VVPAT is purchased as a retrofit, then 251 funds can be used ONLY to the extent that they can be used to improve the administration of Federal elections (see 251(b)(2)), as VVPAT is not a required component of voting systems under section 301(a) and would serve only to improve the administration of elections. Also, Section 101 funds can be used. Section 102 funds would not be appropriate for a retrofit VVPAT because VVPAT is not a requirement of Section 301.

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Does the EAC give opinions as to whether a specified voting system would be considered compliant with HAVA Section 301(a)?

No. EAC does not believe that it was the intention of Congress for this Commission to preclear or approve the purchase of voting systems by States and local governments. Rather, Congress intended that EAC provide information and guidance on the meaning and implementation of HAVA. Furthermore, EAC has waived its right to pre-approve the expenditure of HAVA funds on compliant voting systems.

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Does HAVA Section 301(a)(3)(C) mean that if HAVA funds are used after January 1, 2007 to purchase a voting system (or any additional voting units), the funds can only be used to purchase voting units that meet the accessibility requirements of Section 301(a)(3)?

The January 1, 2007 date referenced in Section 301(a)(3)(C) applies to when the funds are provided, not when the equipment is purchased. If a jurisdiction already meets the accessibility requirements under Section 301(a)(3) and they wish to purchase additional voting systems, the State would not be required to procure additional voting equipment that is accessible to persons with disabilities. Nevertheless, the equipment procured with those funds must meet all other HAVA Section 301 requirements. If States receive additional HAVA funding from the EAC after January 1, 2007 and wish to use that funding to purchase new voting systems, then all equipment purchased with the new funding must meet the requirements of Section 301(a)(3). If mixed funding sources are used in future voting system procurements, States will have to separately account for restricted and unrestricted money separately if the State wishes to purchase non-accessible equipment.

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Can a State or local government use HAVA funds to upgrade wiring so that the election office can connect its locality LAN to access the Internet?

Generally, upgrading wiring is an allowable cost for this purpose. Upgrading wiring is justified if it improves the administration of Federal elections. It can be paid for using Section 101 funds or Section 251 funds up to the minimum payment identified in Section 252. However allocability and cost reasonableness must still be considered. For example, if the internet wiring will not be used exclusively for the purpose of improving the administration of Federal elections, only that percentage of costs associated with the administration of Federal elections can be charged to the HAVA grant. 

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May HAVA funds be used to make polling places used in Federal elections accessible to people with disabilities if those polling places will be used in future elections?

Generally, making polling places accessible is an allowable cost. However, this expense is not directly related to meeting any of the Title III requirements. As such, this cost can be allocated only to funding programs under Section 101 or Section 251(b).

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Can a locality be reimbursed with HAVA funds for ADA modifications to polling places made before HAVA became law on October 29, 2002?

No. HAVA provides only for reimbursement of expenses related to voting system purchases. There is no provision for the reimbursement of expenses incurred to improve access to polling places.

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Can a locality use HAVA funds to make modifications to a storage space in order to provide appropriate storage for voting equipment?

Generally, making modifications to a warehouse to store voting equipment is an allowable cost. However, this expense is not directly related to meeting any of the Title III requirements. Only Section 101 funds or Section 251(b) funds may be used for this expense. However allocability and cost reasonableness must still be considered. For example, if the warehouse modification will not be used exclusively for the purpose of improving the administration of Federal elections, only that percentage of costs associated with the administration of Federal elections can be charged to the HAVA grant. Similarly, it may be more reasonable to select a different warehouse rather then retrofit the current structure. 

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May HAVA Section 101 or 251 funds be used to purchase a building to be used for warehouse voting system equipment?

Generally, purchasing a warehouse to store voting equipment is an allowable cost. This expense is not directly related to meeting any of the Title III requirements. Thus, only Section 101 or Section 251(b) funds may be used. Factors such as allocability and cost reasonableness must still be considered in determining the appropriateness of the expense. For example, if the warehouse will not be used exclusively for the purpose of improving the administration of Federal elections, only that percentage of costs associated with the administration of Federal elections can be charged to the HAVA grant. Similarly, it may be more reasonable to rent a warehouse rather then purchase one. 

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Can HAVA Section 102 funds be used to buy, rent or improve a warehouse to store voting systems?

No. Section 102 of HAVA grants payments to States for the purpose of replacing punch card and lever voting systems not for the storage or warehousing of such equipment. 

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May HAVA funds be used to rent space to store voting equipment purchased to meet HAVA requirements?

Generally, renting a warehouse to store voting equipment is considered to be an allowable cost. This expense is not directly related to meeting any of the Title III requirements. Thus, only Section 101 or Section 251(b) funds may be used. Factors such as allocability and cost reasonableness must still be considered in order to determine the appropriateness of this type of expense. If the warehouse will not be used exclusively for the purpose of improving the administration of Federal elections (e.g., rental space would be used to house equipment other than voting systems that would be used in Federal elections), only that percentage of costs associated with the administration of Federal elections can be charged to the HAVA grant. Rental costs of buildings and equipment are covered by OMB Circular A-87.

Rental costs under leases which are required to be treated as capital leases under Generally Accepted 13 Accounting Principles (GAAP) are allowable only up to the amount that would be allowed had the State or local government purchased the property on the date the lease agreement was executed. The provisions of Financial Accounting Standards Board Statement 13, Accounting for Leases, determine whether a lease is a capital lease. The determination is based on factors such as if the lease transfers ownership of the property to the lessee by the end of the lease term; contains a bargain purchase option; the lease term is equal to 75 percent or more of the estimated economic life of the leased property unless the lease term falls within the last 25 percent of the total estimated economic life of the leased property; or the present value at the beginning of the lease term of the minimum lease payments excluding executory costs such as insurance, maintenance, and taxes to be paid by the lessor, including any profit, equals or exceeds 90 percent of the excess of the fair value of the leased property to the lessor at the inception of the lease.

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May HAVA funds be used to send elections office employees to an election industry association conference to see available voting equipment?

Generally, HAVA funds may be used to attend an election industry association conference to see available voting equipment if such funds were not a part of the State’s maintenance of effort requirement. HAVA funds may not be used to pay dues to the association. Because this expense is not directly related to meeting any of the Title III requirements, only Section 101 or Section 251(b) funds may be used.

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May HAVA Section 101 funds be used to buy children’s coloring books (educational)?

No. Pursuant to the language of HAVA, the funds must be expended to educate “voters” or groups of people who meet State voting requirements. As coloring books are traditionally geared towards the young (who are not eligible to vote), this use of Section 101 funds appears not to meet the fund’s educational use requirements

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May HAVA funds be used to create video training aids or instruction lead training, or employ a full time training manager for Officers of Election on new voting equipment, provisional ballots and/or ID requirements for first time mail registrants?

May HAVA funds be used to create video training aids or instruction lead training, or employ a full time training manager for Officers of Election on new voting equipment, provisional ballots and/or ID requirements for first time mail registrants?

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May HAVA funds be used to provide food during a training of election officers (poll workers) on new voting equipment before the initial use?

Generally, HAVA funds may be used to purchase food consumed during training. The provision of food is covered by OMB Circular A-87 Meetings and conferences. Meals associated with meetings and conferences are allowable. However, meals that are used for entertainment purposes and alcohol are not allowable. 

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May HAVA funds be used to create video training aids or instruction lead training, or employ a full time training manager for Officers of Election on new voting equipment, provisional ballots and/or ID requirements for first time mail registrants?

Yes. Section 101 funds may be used to train election officials, poll workers, and election volunteers. Section 251 can only be used for the educational costs that benefit Federal elections, as those funds are restricted to improving the administration of Federal elections funds subject to the requirements of Section 251(b). The State should carefully consider the prudence of funding an ongoing expense such as printing and distribution charges with a one-time funding source like these HAVA funds. These costs will inevitably be assumed by the State or local government upon the exhaustion of Federal funds.

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May HAVA Section 101 funds be used to buy “voting is cool” bracelets?

No. In order to fit within the allowable expense of voter education, the item procured must provide information on voting procedures, rights or technology. Items intended to “get out the vote” or merely encourage voting do not meet this requirement. Items that are not fundamentally educational may be considered advertising or public relations costs prohibited by OMB Circular A-87 Advertising and public relations costs. 

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May HAVA section 101 funds be used to buy “Top Ramen” as a humorous means to attract the attention of college students to the importance of voting?

No. In order to fit within the allowable expense of voter education, the item procured must provide information on voting procedures, rights or technology. Items intended to “get out the vote” or merely encourage voting do not meet this requirement. Items that are not fundamentally educational may be considered advertising or public relations costs prohibited by OMB Circular A-87, Advertising and public relations costs. 

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May HAVA funds be used to employ legal counsel to advise and or represent the Secretary of State and/or State Election Commissioners in litigation pertaining to the implementation of the State HAVA plan?

According to the plain language of HAVA in Sections 101(b)(2) and 251(f), funds distributed under Sections 101 and 251 cannot be used to pay for costs associated with litigation unless the exceptions in Sections 101(b)(2)(A) and 251(f)(1) apply, which permit legal expenses covering the implementation of HAVA (not a State provision that is more strict than the provisions of HAVA).

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May HAVA funds (101 and 251) be spent to determine whether the proposed uses of HAVA funds for litigation are allowable, allocable, and reasonable?

Yes. However, grantees generally seek advice from the agency that administers the grant on what constitutes an allowable cost. A State may be able to obtain the information that it needs without the necessity of a legal opinion by consulting with other State departments that are administering Federal grant programs at the State level. Grantees are encouraged to request the assistance of the EAC in determining the permissibility of certain costs rather than expending HAVA funds to make this determination. OMB Circular A-87, Defense and prosecution of criminal and civil proceedings, and claims, allows for legal expenses required in the administration of a Federal program. 

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May HAVA funds be used to pay to maintain and support a HAVA compliant statewide voter registration system?

Yes. Maintenance of a statewide voter registration system can be paid for from Section 251 funds or Section 101 funds. However, cost reasonableness must still be considered. The State should carefully consider the prudence of funding an ongoing expense such as printing and distribution charges with a one-time funding source like these HAVA funds. These costs will inevitably be assumed by the State or local government upon the exhaustion of Federal funds. 

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May HAVA Section 251 funds be used to reimburse a State for statewide voter registration database costs incurred prior to award of the funds?

The EAC has concluded that (for the purposes of requirements payments) any pre-award cost “incurred pursuant to negotiation and in anticipation of grant award”, as required by 17 OMB Circular A-87, Pre Award Costs, is reimbursable if the cost was included in a (later) approved HAVA State plan and it was incurred after Congress appropriated HAVA requirements payment funding on February 20, 2003. In order to be properly attributed as a pre-award grant cost, a cost must have been necessary to incur in order to meet the scheduled requirements of the grant. HAVA Title III requirements include a mandate for the creation of a Statewide Voter Registration Database (42 U.S.C. §15483(a)) on or before January 1, 2004 (42 U.S.C. §15483(d)) or apply for a waiver (for good cause shown) to extend the deadline to January 1, 2006. The EAC has concluded that it is reasonable for a State to conclude that pre-award expenditures on Statewide Voter Registration Databases were necessary in order to meet HAVA timelines. Pre-award costs expended to procure a voter registration database that will meet HAVA requirements fits the use limitation. The cost must not have been allocated to meet the States maintenance of effort requirement or 5 percent matching fund requirement. In order to properly allocate a pre-award cost to a grant, the recipient must get written approval from the awarding agency, the EAC. 

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What voting machine purchases made prior to the passage of HAVA are reimbursable under HAVA?

Voting machine purchases made prior to the passage of HAVA and after January 1, 2001 are reimbursable under Sections 102 and 251. In addition, Section 251(c)(1) of HAVA permits reimbursement of voting machine purchases made after the Federal general election in November 2000. If Section 102 funds are used to reimburse expenses incurred to purchase voting systems those purchases (1) must have been made after January 1, 2001; (2) must have been made to replace punch card or lever voting systems used on or before the deadline for submitting certifications established in Section 102; and (3) must have been used to purchase voting systems that comply with Section 301(a) of HAVA. In addition, the amount of reimbursement per precinct cannot exceed the pro rata amount distributed by GSA. If Section 251 funds are used as reimbursement for HAVA compliant voting machine purchases made on a multi-year contract, then pursuant to Section 253(a)(5) the amount of the State’s matching funds must be increased in an amount equal to the amount of the reimbursement. If Section 251 funds are used as reimbursement for voting machine purchases made on other than a multi-year contract, the provision requiring an increased matching funds does not apply. 

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May States use Section 251 funds to reimburse a county or local government for its purchase of voting equipment?

Yes. The funds can only be used to reimburse the purchase of voting systems that meet the requirements of Section 301(a) of HAVA; purchase must have occurred after the November 2000 election; and if the money is used to reimburse a purchase of voting equipment on a multi-year contract, then the State must increase its maintenance of effort expenditure by the amount of the payment and additional matching funds are required under Section 253(b)(5).

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May a State reimburse a county that has fully satisfied the payment obligation to the voting system vendor for the purchase of voting equipment made prior to the State receiving HAVA funds?

Section 251(c) of HAVA contemplates using Title II funds for the purpose of reimbursing States for expenses associated with voting equipment that meets the requirements of HAVA purchased prior to the availability of funds under HAVA. This concept of reimbursement applies to the county or other local government unit that purchases voting equipment in lieu of such purchases on a State level. HAVA funds may reimburse and replace county funds that were obligated after October 29, 2002, (or obligated prior to January 1, 2001 under a multi-year contract) in advance of the receipt of Federal funds. Thus, if the county has already earned those reimbursement payments, it can reappropriate the funds to uses it deems proper, subject to any conditions established by the State in granting funds to counties.

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May HAVA funds be used to reimburse counties for vendor voting system maintenance fees?

Either Section 101 or Section 251(b) funds can be used for expenses related to maintenance of voting systems. Under Section 251(b), a State is limited to the amount that it would have been entitled to as a minimum payment until the State meets the requirements of Title III.

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Does Executive Order 11246, dealing with affirmative action plan requirements, apply to a State because it received more than $65 million from the Federal government under HAVA?

No. The provisions of Executive Order 11246 apply to contractors and subcontractors with the Federal government. The funds provided by EAC under HAVA do not meet the definition of a contract as stated in the Federal Acquisition Regulations, Part 2.101, and as defined by the Government Accountability Office in Principles of Federal Appropriations Law.

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What is the proper year to account for retroactive reimbursement payments made under HAVA for the Single Audit Act?

The funds should be included in the audit of the fiscal year in which the funds were expended, which is the fiscal year in which the funds were received from the Federal government and then appropriated to use by the State or county. So, if the funds were received in FY05 (October 1, 2004 – September 30, 2005) and appropriated in FY05 by the 19 State or county as reimbursement for expenses made in a previous fiscal year by the State or county, then the funds should be covered by the FY05 audit.

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What is the grant period for HAVA funds?

EAC has established the grant period for HAVA Title II funds as the period beginning on the date of disbursement of the funds to the State and ending when the State and/or a political subdivision of the State expends all of the funds distributed by EAC to the State, all matching funds, and all interest earned on either the Federal funds or State matching funds. 

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When do the grant period end and the record keeping requirement start for HAVA funds?

The record keeping requirement begins upon the close of the grant period, when the last and closing report is filed. The grant period closes when the State (or political subdivisions of the State on its behalf) has expended all Federal, State and interest funds contained in the election fund. 

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If a sub-grantee (State grant of HAVA funds to a county or local government) misspends HAVA funds will the EAC recover the funds directly from the sub-grantee?

No. The EAC will not be engaged in recouping funds from a local government that were misspent by a local government or which were overpaid to a local government under a sub-grant, the obligation is on the State. The EAC will recoup any funds misspent by a local government from the State government.

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What CFDA number do I use when reporting my expenditure of HAVA funds?

The following CFDA numbers have already been assigned to HAVA funding programs: (The Secretary of State's office should be able to tell you which HAVA funds were provided to a county.)

  • 39.011 - Title I, Sections 101 and 102 - "early money" election reform payments made to States (distributed by the General Services Administration in 2003);
  • 93.617 - Title II, section 261 - grants to States for voting access for individuals with disabilities (aka EAID, distributed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2003, 2004, and 2005);
  • 93.618 - Title II, section 291 - grants to State protection and advocacy systems to promote voting access for individuals with disabilities (distributed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2003, 2004, and 2005);
  • 90.400 - Help America Vote College Program - grants to promote the participation of college students as nonpartisan poll workers (distributed by EAC before 9/30/04); and
  • 90.401 – Sections 251- 258 - Requirements Payments to States – (distributed by the EAC in 2004 and 2005)

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Does the State need to notify the EAC of the States compliance and intent to use 251 funds for "other election improvements"?

Yes. Consistent with Section 251(b) in order to use remaining Title II funds for the improvement of the administration of elections for Federal office, the State must submit a verification that all of the Title III requirements have been met (not just the voting system requirements) or certify prior to the time that all Title III requirements are met that the State will not use more than the minimum payment amount. This does not alleviate the responsibility that the State has to assure that its spending is in keeping with its State plan. Thus, if the proposed spending on improving election administration is not reflected in the State plan and represents a material change, the State plan must be changed prior to the change in spending.

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May a State or county rent or lease out its voting systems?

Generally, a State or county can rent or lease out its voting systems. Common Rule, 41 C.F.R. § 105-71.32 Equipment, prohibits a grantee from using a piece of equipment purchased using grant funds to compete unfairly with the private sector. If a State rents or leases its voting machines out it must do so in a way that does not thwart competition with the private sector. The price paid by the lessee must be a competitive price. Equipment is defined by the common rule as "tangible, non-expendable, personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit. A grantee may use its own definition of equipment provided that such definition would at least include all equipment defined above.” If the voting systems meet the definition of “equipment” either under the Common Rule or State laws, rules or regulations, the restriction must apply. Income from leasing voting equipment to other jurisdictions would be considered program income, see OMB Circular A-102, Common Rule, 41 C.F.R. § 105-71.125 Program Income. The only appropriate treatment of income classified as program income during the grant period is for the county to dedicate the income to uses permitted under HAVA Section 251. Section 251 allows the use of HAVA funds to implement the requirements of Title III; once those requirements are met, to improve the administration of elections for Federal office. After the expiration of the grant period, the income generated by the lease of voting systems may be used by the county as it chooses. 

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Must a county, the sub-grantee of HAVA funds, enter into an agreement with each municipality for the use of Federal Funds or is the agreement between the State and county sufficient?

The State must follow its own laws and procedures regarding the distribution of grant funds when issuing a sub-grant, but must also assure that the sub-grantee is aware of the limitations imposed by the Federal grant. A State must follow its own law as to whether a cost sharing agreement is required or some other form of grant agreement is needed. EAC suggests that there be some documentation that supports the transfer of these funds to the local governments, whether it be a certification by the governments that they will comply with the limitations or that the governments receive funds on a cost reimbursement basis after providing a request for the funds and proof that they were spent in accordance with the State and Federal restrictions. OMB Circular A-102, Common Rule, 41 C.F.R. § 105-71.137, Sub-grants, covers the requirements for States that issue sub-grants of Federal funds. 

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How do I calculate the amount needed for our state’s 5 percent match?

According to HAVA Section 253(b)(5), the State match is 5 percent of the total amount to be spent (taking into account the Federal amount the State amount). The formula for determining the amount of State matching funds based on the Federal funds requested is:

(Federal Dollars/.95) = Federal Dollars State Match

Deriving from that formula an equation that would allow us to figure the Federal dollars from the available State match:

Federal Dollars = 19 x State Match

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Can a State use its State matching funds to satisfy the maintenance of effort requirement?

No, a State may not use State matching funds to satisfy the requirement that it maintain its effort. Both maintenance of effort and matching funds requirements are considered cost sharing methods, ways by which Congress and thereby the Federal Government get States to share in the expense of funding a particular endeavor. Maintenance of effort requirements are considered different from matching fund requirements in that the intent, generally, is to assure that the Federal funding actually increases the amount of funding to a particular program or task.

While there is no legislative history on this particular issue, a plain reading of HAVA must result in an understanding that Congress included two separate and distinct cost sharing requirements, matching funds and maintenance of effort. Congress did not intend for one of these cost sharing methods to cancel the other. Rather, it is apparent that Congress intended that the state both contribute to the improvement of election systems through the 5 percent match requirement as well as the fact that the Federal and State funding would increase the funding to election administration efforts.

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Does the HAVA, specifically Section 301, definition of "election for Federal office", include a presidential primary which is an election of delegates to a national political convention?

Federal campaign finance laws and regulations define these types of elections as Federal elections (see 11 C.F.R. § 100.2) and case law interpreting 42 U.S.C. Section 1973i relating to prohibited election offenses consider a presidential preference primary to be an election for federal office. While HAVA does not define an election for federal office, the statements of law regarding other election processes are instructive as to the meaning of the term for purposes of HAVA. State law may interplay. Some States have a definition of Federal election that excludes a presidential preference primary. While these statutes may be enacted for reasons related to the cost of an election, etc., they must be considered. 

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What is a Federal election?

The Voting Section, U.S. Department of Justice (charged with enforcing the requirements of HAVA Title III), addressed this issue: HAVA does not contain a definition of the term "election for federal office." However, Section 3 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. 1973gg-1(1)&(2), defines "election" and "federal office" as those terms appear in the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431(1) & (3)). It is the Department's view that the requirements of Title III of HAVA were intended to apply in any general, special, primary, or runoff election for the office of President or Vice President, including presidential preference primaries, and any general, special, primary, or runoff election for the office of Senator or Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to the Congress from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the four territories. The EAC has taken the same approach with regard to the Federal funding programs that the agency oversees (HAVA Title I "early money" and Title II requirements payments). 

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Will restrictions of Section 251 be lifted on a by-county basis when a county meets the requirements of Title III of HAVA?

No. The plain language of Section 251(b)(2) of HAVA requires that the State have implemented the requirements of Title III prior to using more than what the State could have obtained as a minimum payment for activities to improve the administration of elections for Federal office. Thus, the Section 251 restrictions will not be lifted on a county-by-county basis.

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What types of penalties might be imposed against a State if a county’s voting system is found non-compliant with HAVA?

The Department of Justice is given enforcement authority over Title III of HAVA. Any claim, law suit, or request for remedies including penalties would be sought against the State for its failure or one of its county’s failure to comply with HAVA, would be brought by the Department of Justice. 

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How will the EAC treat noncompliant precincts after the deadline for replacement of punch card and lever voting systems under Section 102 of HAVA?

The EAC expects the State to repay a pro rata portion of the funds received by the State in compliance with the requirement of Section 102(d). That pro rata portion would be determined by multiplying the percentage of noncompliant precincts with the amount of funding originally received under Section 102.

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Does a State law that permits some small towns to use paper ballots for non-federal elections instead of HAVA compliant voting equipment violate the ‘private and independent’ requirement of HAVA?

No. The voting equipment provisions of HAVA apply only to elections for Federal office. However, there may be State laws, rules or regulations that require the use of accessible voting systems in State and/or local elections.

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Can a State request an extension for complying with the voting system standard requirements in Section 301?

No. Section 301(d) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) requires all States to comply on and after January 1, 2006 with the requirement that each voting system used in elections for Federal office must meet the HAVA Title III, Section 301, voting system standards. The EAC has no authority to extend or waive this statutory deadline. The U.S. Department of Justice, the agency authorized by HAVA to enforce Title III provisions, has made it clear that the agency plans to enforce this deadline. Only the enactment of Federal legislation providing for the extension or waiver of this deadline can change this requirement.

HAVA Section 102(a)(3)(B) permitted States, which had received Title I, Section 102 funds to replace punch card and lever machine voting systems, to file for a waiver of the original November 2, 2004 replacement deadline. Twenty-three of the thirty States that received such funds requested the waiver. The waiver gives these States until the first election for 24 Federal office held on or after January 1, 2006 to replace such systems without risk of losing these Federal funds. The first Federal election would normally be the 2006 primary election for Federal office, unless the State holds an earlier special election for Federal office to fill a vacancy. 

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Is there flexibility in the percentage of funds that can be awarded to the intermediary (primary recipient) for research? Can the intermediary perform a larger part of the research than the 15% listed in the NOFA?

The amount awarded for the research portion of the project is capped at 15% for the intermediary. This project was originally envisioned with an intermediary that would coordinate and provide leadership, expertise and experience to a number of sub-recipients that would perform the bulk of the research. The intermediary can perform a larger portion of the research; however, any portion of the work in excess of the 15% cap should be considered as an in-kind matching contribution. 

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Voters

Moving & Registering To Vote

I've moved recently. Can I still vote?

Yes; you can certainly vote after a recent move, but you may need to update your voter registration with your local election office. Read these frequently asked questions to learn more.

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Does my voter registration move with me?

No. If you move within your existing county, you must complete a new voter registration form to update your new address. If you move to a different county or state, you must re-register with your new county and/or state. To find this information, visit your state election office’s Web site.

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How do I change my dad's mailing address for his ballot but keep his residential address the same for voting purposes? My dad has Alzheimer's, so I'm receiving all of his mail now; he is no longer receiving any mail at his residence. I am his POA.

State election laws differ regarding who can assist voters and under what circumstances. You will need to contact your local election office for the district where your father legally resides (not where you reside). The election office can advise you on what a POA is or is not permitted to do on behalf of a registered voter.

 

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National Voter Registration Act

What is the National Form?

The National Mail Voter Registration Form consists of four parts: 

  • The Application
  • The General Instructions
  • The Application Instructions
  • The State Instructions 

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Who can use the National Form?

Any U.S. citizen residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia may use this form, with the following exceptions:

North Dakota, Wyoming and U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Guam) do not accept this form. New Hampshire accepts the form only as a request for an absentee ballot.

Uniformed service members and overseas voters should not use this form to register to vote. Instead, they should fill out the Federal Post Card Application, available at www.fvap.gov.

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Do I need to show proof of identification when I vote if I registered using the National Form?

If you are voting for the first time in your state and are registering by mail, Federal law may require you to show proof of identification the first time you vote.  This proof of identification includes the following (or if voting by mail, a COPY of the following):

A current and valid photo identification; OR
A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or government document that shows your name and address.

Federal law does not require you to show proof of identification at the polling place or when voting by mail if (1) you provided COPIES of the above with your National Mail Voter Registration Form; (2) your voter registration form has been verified by an election official; or (3) you are entitled by federal law to vote by absentee ballot.  Please note that individual states may have additional voter identification requirements.

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Which part of the National Form do I need to mail in?

You need to mail in only the one-page application.

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What can I do if my registration form is rejected?

If you feel your registration form was unjustly rejected, contact your local election official. You may also contact the voting section of the Department of Justice at (800) 253-3931, or your state’s Attorney General’s office.

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Which part of the National Form do I need to mail in?

You need to mail in only the one-page application.

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What can I do if my registration form is rejected?

If you feel your registration form was unjustly rejected, contact your local election official. You may also contact the voting section of the Department of Justice at (800) 253-3931, or your state’s Attorney General’s office.

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How can I make sure my registration form is accepted?

Make sure you fill in all information requested in the form completely, accurately and legibly. Place it in an envelope, and affix the proper amount of postage to it.

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How can I be sure my form was processed, and I’m registered to vote?

After you’ve submitted your registration form, you should receive a confirmation that you are registered within a few weeks. If you do not receive a confirmation, call your local election office before the registration deadline approaches to confirm you are registered. 

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Can the National Form be photocopied?

Yes. States that accept the National form will accept copies of the application printed from the computer image on regular paper stock, signed by the applicant, and mailed in an envelope with first class postage.

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Can my organization supply just the applications and simply provide the instructions separately as hand-outs or on posters?

Registration Form, you may want to furnish a supply of only the voter registration applications either, printed on card stock according to the FEC specifications, or produced on 8.5' x 11’ regular weight paper. Be sure to include envelopes with the regular weight applications. The General and State Instructions could then either be photocopied and handed out with each application, or enlarged and posted at the registration site.

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I’m organizing a massive voter registration drive. Is there a limit to the number of applications I can copy?

No. Voter registration groups may make as many copies of the National Mail Voter Registration Form as they would like. Furthermore, there is no limit on the number of completed forms a voter registration group may submit to local election offices. However, voter registration groups should endeavor to institute quality control measures to make sure each completed registration application they deliver to their local election offices is filled in completely and legibly.

It's also worth noting that the number of Voter Registration Forms that a state distributes is usually at the discretion of the state's chief election official. Many states base the number of forms they distribute on the size of the target population of the proposed registration drive, method of distribution, number of individuals registered by the organization in any previous voter registration drive and a number of other variables. 

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Can my organization mail the completed Forms we receive in our registration drive, or do the individuals need to mail them personally?If we can mail them, do they have to be individually stamped or can they be bundled?

An organization may mail completed Voter Registration Applications to the appropriate election office(s) individually or in a bundle. The Department of Justice interprets the cost of first class postage to fall into the realm of "facilitating" voter registration, and not as an attempt to induce an individual to register to vote by giving something of value, which would be prohibited by the "vote buying" provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

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National Mail Voter Registration Form

Voting System Testing and Certification

Voting Systems Map

What does an EAC certification mean?

An EAC certified voting system has been tested by a federally accredited test laboratory and has successfully met the requirements of federal voting system standards and/or guidelines.

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Do all voting systems used in federal elections have to be tested and certified by EAC?

No. According to the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), participation by the states in EAC's certification program or adoption of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) is voluntary. However, states may formally adopt the VVSG, making these guidelines mandatory in their jurisdictions.

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Do states have to use voting systems that have been certified by EAC?

No. HAVA does not require states to use voting systems that have been certified by EAC. Although participation in the program is voluntary, adherence to the program’s procedural requirements is mandatory for participants. Many states chose to participate by using hardware and/or software components of an EAC certified voting system without using the fully certified voting system product suite.

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How long has the federal government tested and certified voting equipment?

The federal government’s first voting system certification program began operations in January, 2007.

For more information about EAC's Voting System Certification and Testing Program, visit the FAQ page.

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How do I use the map?

If you are familiar with Google Maps, you can use our voting systems map. Click and drag or use the directional circle in the top left corner of the map to move around. You can zoom in and out with 

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What do the pins mean?

The blue or yellow upside down teardrops on the map are called pins. The pins point to where an EAC Certified Voting System is in use. When you click on the pin, it gives you information about the exact location of the voting system, the voting system name, and a link to more information about the voting system, including test plans, test reports, and any system advisory alerts that may have been issued about the system. Blue pins represent jurisdictions using each and every component of an EAC certified voting system. Yellow pins represent jurisdictions using one or more components from an EAC certified voting system.

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What do the different state colors mean?

:  Explanation for the colors in the map can be found below the map in the key. Purple means that the state has no federal requirements for voting systems. Relevant state statutes and/or regulations make no mention of any federal agency, certification program, laboratory, or standard. Green means that the state requires that its voting systems be tested by a federally accredited laboratory. Relevant state statutes and/or regulations require testing by a federally or nationally accredited laboratory to federal standards. Orange means that the state requires testing its voting systems to federal standards. Relevant state statutes and/or rules require testing to federal voting system standards. (States reference standards drafted by the Federal Election Commission, National Institute of Standards and Technology, or the Election Assistance Commissioner). Blue means that the states require federal certification for its voting systems. Relevant state statutes and/or rules require that voting systems be certified by a federal agency.

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Why are there pins in Florida, yet they have no federal requirement regarding voting systems?

Florida doesn’t require the use of federally certified voting systems, but many of their counties use systems or system components that have been certified by EAC. Florida, as with some other states, doesn’t require the use of federally certified voting systems per state law. It is EAC’s practice to disclose information about EAC-certified systems in the field, regardless of whether the state participates in the federal program.

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Research

Election Administration and Voting Survey

What is the Election Administration and Voting Survey?

The Election Administration and Voting Survey provides information related to election administration, registration and voting.

The survey includes national, state, and county-level data on:

  • Voter Registration 
  • Uniformed and Overseas Voters 
  • Early, Absentee, and Provisional Voting 
  • Voting Equipment Usage 
  • Poll Workers, Polling Places, and Precincts

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Who responds to the Election Administration and Voting Survey?

The Election Administration and Voting Survey is sent to election officials in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four territories – Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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Why does the EAC produce the Election Administration and Voting Survey?

The EAC released its first survey in 2004 under authority granted to the commission by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. Section 202 of HAVA requires the EAC to serve as a national clearinghouse and resource for the compilation of information and review of procedures with respect to the administration of Federal elections. Section 202(3) authorizes the EAC to conduct studies and carry out other duties and activities to promote the effective administration of Federal elections.

HAVA mandates that the Commission collect information related to the processes and procedures used to register voters and to serve uniformed and overseas citizens wishing to vote. The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993 required the Federal Election Commission (and subsequently, the Election Assistance Commission) to report to Congress by June 30 of the year following a Federal election on the impact of the Act on the administration of elections and to include recommendations for improvements in procedures, forms, and other matters affected by the Act.

Section 703 of HAVA mandates that for each regularly scheduled general election for Federal office, the EAC shall collect comprehensive data from the states on all of the ballots sent to military and overseas voters and received back by election administrators. The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) of 1986 protects the voting rights of members of the uniformed services and U.S. citizens residing outside of the country.

In addition, the EAC uses the Election Administration and Voting Survey to learn more about other timely and important election administration issues, for example, from the use of electronic poll books to the prevalence of voter registration processes being conducted via the Internet.

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How often does the EAC produce the Election Administration and Voting Survey?

The information collection associated with the Election Administration and Voting Survey is conducted every two years following a federal election.

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How are EAC’s Election Administration and Voting Survey data collected?

Every two years, the EAC administers the survey to 55 States and territories, requesting election administration-related data at the county-level or county-level equivalent. Most states rely at least to some degree on centralized voter registration databases and voter history databases, which allow state election officials to respond to the survey at the local level for each question. Other states rely on cooperation from county election offices to complete the survey.

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What information does the Election Administration and Voting Survey provide about voter participation?

The Election Administration and Voting Survey report provides the state-reported figures for U.S. voter participation and registration, as well as the estimated voting age population and estimated citizen voting age population as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.

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How can I learn more about a specific state’s data?

EAC makes all of its data publicly available for interested parties to examine and analyze. The Election Administration and Voting Survey data can be found on the EAC website. For questions about a specific state’s data, please review the data and contact the state’s election office for more information.

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Questions about the survey?

Please refer to our EAVS Fact Sheet, or call the EAC at 1-866-747-1471/301-563-3919 or send an e-mail to clearinghouse@eac.gov.

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Payment and Grants

Completing Federal Financial Report

Where do we record interest earned on State matching funds?

Interest earned on State matching funds should be included in Line 10i of the Recipient Share of expenditures. Line i will include the initial required 5 percent, additional interest earned on recipient share and any excess program income earned.

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Where do we report interest earned on the Federal Share?

Interest earned on the Federal share is reported in line L under Program Income. Since we must track interest generated on Federal funds separately, we have dedicated lines L-O exclusively to this purpose. Excess program in income will be tracked under Recipient Share using the additive method.

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How do we record the transfer of interest earned on 102 Funds to our 251 account? When can we make this Transfer?

On the Section 251 FFR you will record this transfer by adding the funds to Line L under Program Income. Use the comments box to record the amount and date of the transfer. On the Section 102 FFR, show the amount transferred on Line N, which will leave the Final FFR for Section 102 with a balance of zero on line O. Use the comments box to note the date and amount of the transfer. EAC has authorized some individual States to make this transfer, but we will also issue a general memorandum authorizing this transfer in the coming days.

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Do we report our EAC funds on one FFR form or on separate forms?

You should have one form for each type of funds being reported: 101; 102; and 251. If you have already submitted a final FFR for Section 102 funds, you do not need to submit additional 102 reports. 

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We were told early in 2008 that we would have to submit a separate report for 2008 Section 251 Funds, is this still required?

No, you do not need to track FY 2008 Section 251 funds on a separate FFR.

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Do you have a fillable version of the forms available?

Yes, we have added fillable versions of the form to our website.

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Where do we record interest earned on State matching funds?

Interest earned on State matching funds should be included in Line 10i of
the Recipient Share of expenditures. Line i will include the initial required
5 percent, additional interest earned on recipient share and any excess
program income earned.

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Where do we report interest earned on the Federal Share?

Interest earned on the Federal share is reported in line L under Program
Income. Since we must track interest generated on Federal funds
separately, we have dedicated lines L-O exclusively to this purpose.
Excess program income will be tracked under Recipient Share using the
additive method.

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How do we record the transfer of interest earned on 102 Funds to our 251 account? When can we make this Transfer?

On the Section 251 FFR you will record this transfer by adding the funds
to Line L under Program Income. Use the comments box to record the
amount and date of the transfer. On the Section 102 FFR, show the
amount transferred on Line N, which will leave the Final FFR for Section
102 with a balance of zero on line O. Use the comments box to note the
date and amount of the transfer. EAC has authorized some individual
States to make this transfer, but we will also issue a general memorandum
authorizing this transfer in the coming days.

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Do we report our EAC funds on one FFR form or on separate forms?

You should have one form for each type of funds being reported: 101;
102; and 251. If you have already submitted a final FFR for Section 102
funds, you do not need to submit additional 102 reports.

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We were told early in 2008 that we would have to submit a separate report for 2008 Section 251 Funds, is this still required?

No, you do not need to track FY 2008 Section 251 funds on a separate
FFR.

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Do you have a fillable version of the forms available?

Yes, we have added fillable versions of the form to our website.

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Logic and Accuracy Testing & Post Election

Can non-profit, educational or for-profits organizations apply for funding?

Non-profit, educational and for-profits institutions can apply in partnership with a
state or local government; however, a state or local unit of government must be the
primary applicant on the proposal.

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If a state and local government collaborate, can the maximum funding limits be combined?

No. The maximum funding limits for a proposal is determined by the primary
applicant. For instance, a state applicant working with a local government can apply
for a maximum of $230K.

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Can an organization be a sub-recipient on more than one application?

Yes. An organization can be a sub-recipient on more than one application; however,
there can only be one submission by each governmental unit. If a sub-recipient
receives funding from multiple EAC awards, the project scope and budget may be
reviewed for overlap prior to award.

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Do contracting and Request for Proposal (RFP) procedures apply to the subrecipient agreements on these proposals?

Applicants should follow their own laws, policies and procedures when determining
whether the agreements should follow RFP procedures. Many organizations make a
distinction between contracts (procurement) and sub-recipient agreements.
Generally, the procurement mechanism is applicable for fixed-price items where the
end products are clearly defined in advance; whereas, sub-recipient agreements
provide unique services on a cost-reimbursable basis. Sub-recipient organizations are
usually involved in the design and development in the proposal and perform a
substantial part of the activities. Applicants can investigate whether their
organization has any mechanisms for entering into non-procurement partnerships.

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When submitting a “blended” application that combines both Logic & Accuracy Testing and Post-Election Audit projects, is there a particular format for how the application should be submitted?

No. In order to allow applicants flexibility in designing their proposals, EAC does not specify the exact format for submitting blended applications. For instance, applicants can submit two separate budget pages – one for L&A and a second for Post-election Audits, or they can submit one combined budget for both portions. Applicants can also choose to organize the narrative portion to reflect separate portions of the project, or combined as one. However, the limits of 3,000 characters for the project abstract and 25,000 characters for the program design, organizational capacity, and budget/cost effectiveness portions of the application still apply. An 18 page limit, including images, applies to applications (please see question #9 below). The maximum funding limits listed on page 11 of the funding announcement also apply to blended applications; and the application should be organized in the order listed on page 15 of the announcement.

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Can applicants submit additional information as an appendix to the application?

No. Applicants should describe any background information completely in the
narrative portion of the application. No appendix material will be accepted at this
time with the application. Should there be any questions regarding the application, EAC will request additional information from the applicant.

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Is the indirect cost rate limited to five percent even for universities and organizations with negotiated rates?

Yes. For this program, organizations can recoup a maximum of five percent of total direct costs as indirect costs. If an organization has a negotiated indirect cost rate higher than five percent, the portion in excess of the five percent can be considered a matching contribution in the budget.

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Are pre-award costs allowable on this grant award?

Successful grant applicants may request approval for costs incurred before the start of the budget period, provided that the costs are necessary to the conduct of the project and would be allowable under the grant terms. Pre-award costs are always at an applicant’s own risk.

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Can images be included in the application for clarification?

Images can be included in the application; however the following limitations apply. For the Executive Summary, the addition of one image is acceptable provided that the purpose is merely to clarify and not to circumvent the 3,000 character limit. For the Project Narrative Statement of the application, the character limit of 25,000 characters applies to text only applications. For applications that include images, the application is limited to 18 pages.

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What does it mean to have a performance period of 36 months, but budget period of 24 months?

Applicants should submit budget and project plans for up to 24 months of support. In instances when there may be delays on the project, the grant recipients may request a no-cost extension of up to 12 months to complete the proposed work for a total of 36 months. However, applicants should aim for projects that can be completed in the 24 month timeframe.

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Is submitting an Intent to Apply required in order to apply for announcement?

While we would appreciate notification of your organization’s intent to apply, it is not required. We welcome all eligible submissions.

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Who do we contact for questions during the application process?

If you have any questions regarding this announcement or the application process, please contact Debbie Chen 202-566-2166 dchen@eac.gov, or Joshua Franklin 202-566-0358 jfranklin@eac.gov.

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2010 College Poll Worker Program

What is the maximum length for the Executive Summary and the maximum combined length for the Program Design, Organizational Capacity, and Budget/Cost Effectiveness?

The maximum length for the Executive Summary is 1,800 characters (not 1,500).
The maximum combined length of the Program Design, Organization Capacity
and Budget/Cost Effectiveness is 17,000 characters (not 15,000). The character
count does not include spaces.

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Are state, county, or local governments eligible to apply?

State, county, and local governments are not eligible to apply as the official legal
applicant. The 2010 HAVA College Poll Worker Program is only open to
Public and Private Institutions of higher education and non-profits organizations.
However, the success of any program will depend on partnerships with state and
local election offices; so if these offices are interested, they could reach out to
education and non-profit partners to get involved in a program or to encourage
them to apply.

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Is there a recording available for technical assistance webinar held by the EAC for this competition?

Yes, the recording can be found at:
https://eacevents.webex.com/eacevents/lsr.php?AT=pb&SP=EC&rID=2073772&rKey=58
802006a4c1ed21

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Is there a definition of a college student?

We do not distinguish between different types of students (undergraduate,
graduate, part-time, etc.) as long as they are enrolled at a college or university.

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Can we run a voter registration drive in conjunction with the poll worker recruitment?

Voter registration and get-out-the-vote activities are not allowable expenditures
under this program. If EAC grant funds are not used to fund this activity and the
activity is clearly distinguishable from the activities supported by the grant, then
the activity could take place. Applicants are strongly cautioned not to attempt to
use EAC funds in programs that are primarily or traditionally geared towards
voter registration activities.

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The funding Notice prohibits partisan activities, but poll workers are required to be 2 registered with one of the political parties. Are we still eligible to apply?

Yes, requirements for poll workers to be affiliated with a political party are
excluded from this prohibition. Get-out-the-vote or voter registration drives or
other party related activities are not supportable under this grant.

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Poll workers are required to be affiliated with a political party in our state. Are we still eligible to apply given the prohibition on partisan activities described in the funding Notice?

Yes, the prohibition refers to partisan campaign activities, not official duties
associated with being a poll worker.

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Will EAC reimburse for pre-award expenses made in preparation for fall poll worker recruitment before receipt of the Notice of Grant Award?

EAC will allow applicants to request pre-award expenses once applicants
have been notified that they are approved for an award.

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Does the EAC seek programs that train able poll workers to assist voters with disabilities or is there an additional goal of recruiting individuals with disabilities as poll workers?

New applicants are not required to have a program that accomplishes these goals; however, EAC is interested in funding programs that propose development of curriculum, training guides, and best practices associated with recruiting poll workers with disabilities and making polling places more welcoming and accessible to those with disabilities. Note, however, that there is no requirement that applicants must recruit poll workers with disabilities.

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Are we able to partner with organizations in other states or jurisdictions by filing a joint application?

Yes, an application may be developed jointly by more than one agency or
organization, although the application must identify one organization as the legal
applicant. The other participating organizations can be included as coparticipants, sub-grantees, or subcontractors.

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If we received a grant from EAC in 2004, 2006 or 2008, are we eligible to apply as new grantees?

Yes. Only 2009 College Poll Worker Program grantees are restricted to applying
as re-competing grantees and must use funds to support development of training
material as discussed in the funding notice (Section I.B.).

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What are examples of allowable costs?

Some examples of allowable costs are:


i. Salaries for Project Coordinators and assistants
ii. Recruitment materials such as flyers, brochures, and t-shirts
iii. Websites and social network strategies for marketing
iv. Training materials
v. Community Volunteer recruitment and training
vi. Travel expenses for students serving as poll workers on Election Day
vii. Surveys and analysis of participation rates, reactions, and recommendations

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Can we pay a stipend to students?

Generally, yes, students can receive a stipend for attending training or
participating in the program. We would allow stipends or recognition for
participation or enticements for serving as poll workers. We will not pay for cash prizes or awards for competitions. A grantee would not be prohibited from using in-kind or non-federal funds to provide prizes. One thing to note: when the students serve as poll workers, most jurisdictions will give them a stipend. The program does not allow students to receive stipends when they are already being paid by the jurisdiction where they will be serving as a poll worker. In other words, no double payment for serving as poll workers should be made to students.

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What can’t funding be used for?

Funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages, debt, contingencies, contributions
to other entities, entertainment (including costs of amusement, diversion, social
activities, ceremonials, and costs relating thereto, such as meals, lodging, rentals, transportation, gratuities, and prizes), goods or services for personal use, organization costs (such as incorporation fees, brokers’ fees, fees to promoters, management consultants, attorneys, accountants, or investment counselors), religious activities, lobbying, voter registration, and get-out-the-vote
expenditures.

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Are indirect costs allowable?

Grantees may recover indirect costs under this grant up to 5 percent of the total
federal share of the grant. If an applicant has an approved federal indirect cost
rate the remainder of the indirect costs can be used as a matching contribution.
Applicants without an approved indirect rate may not claim indirect costs as a
matching contribution.

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Who are the past recipients of this award?

Information about past programs and past grantees can be found on the EAC
website here: http://www.eac.gov/payments_and_grants/help_america_vote_college_program.aspx.

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What federal forms do we need for the application?

Links to the specific forms can be found below:
http://www.eac.gov/payments_and_grants/federal_standard_forms.aspx


Certifications:
http://www.eac.gov/payments_and_grants/federal_standard_forms.aspx

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What is the budget justification?

There is no budget justification form. Rather, you should be sure to complete a
written narrative justification for section B.6 of the SF 424A. The categories on
the SF-424A form alone may not suffice for explaining how the expenses are
broken down within these categories so you should be sure to include a detailed
justification for the categories. This section does NOT count towards the
character count for the narrative portion of your application

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Is there a funding opportunity number or federal award identifier as requested on the SF 424 form?

No, you may leave these blank or put N/A in these sections.

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The SF 424 does not seem to be fillable form? Can we use a different version that is fillable?

You may use a different version of the SF 424 if it has exactly the same fields as
required in the form provided by EAC. You will not be penalized for handwriting
either the SF 424 or 424A.

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Do we need to scan in signatures to the electronic version of the document?

No, the electronic version of the document must be an exact duplicate of the
application, but it does not need original signatures.

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If our organization also has a division with a 501(c)(4) IRS designation, are we still eligible to apply?

As long as the eligible applicant is a 501(c)(3) organization, having a 501(c)(4)
affiliate will not effect your eligibility.

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If we submit an application by email, do we have to also submit one by regular mail?

No. If you submit your application via email, you do not need to submit one via
regular mail. Please be sure to include the entire application with one or more
attachments in one e-mail. Application missing required elements may not be
reviewed by EAC.

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2009 College Poll Worker Program

Are state, county, or local governments eligible to apply?

State, county, and local governments are not eligible to apply as the official legal
applicant. The 2009 HAVA College Poll Worker Program is only open to public
and private institutions of higher education and non-profits organizations.
However, the success of any program will depend on partnerships with state and
local election offices; so if these offices are interested, they could reach out to
education and non-profit partners to get involved in a program or to encourage
them to apply.

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Is there a definition of a college student?

We do not distinguish between different types of students (undergraduate,
graduate, part-time, etc.) as long as they are enrolled at a college or university.

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Can we run a voter registration drive in conjunction with the poll worker recruitment?

Yes, so long as EAC grant funds are not used to fund this activity and the activity
is clearly distinguishable from the activities supported by the grant. Voter
registration and get-out-the-vote activities are not allowable expenditures under
this program.

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Poll workers are required to be affiliated with a political party in our state. Are we still eligible to apply given the prohibition on partisan activities described in the funding Notice?

Yes, the prohibition refers to partisan campaign activities, not official duties
associated with being a poll worker.

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Is the ceiling amount of a new individual award $75,000 per year for two years ($150,000 total federal grant), or is it $75,000 for two years (total two-year award of $75,000).

It is a total of $75,000 for up to the entire two-year grant period. Additional
funding to expand proposed 2010 activities in the second year of the grant may be awarded subject to availability of funds and demonstrated progress toward
approved performance measures. Note: your proposed budget can cover up to 24 months, but can also be less. An applicant could propose a one-year program
beginning in December 2009 through December 2010, for example.

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Will EAC reimburse for pre-award expenses made in preparation for fall poll worker recruitment before receipt of the Notice of Grant Award?

EAC will allow applicants to request pre-award expenses once applicants have
been notified that they are approved for an award.

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Does the EAC seek programs that train able poll workers to assist voters with disabilities or is there an additional goal of recruiting individuals with disabilities as poll workers?

New applicants are not required to have a program that accomplishes these goals; however, EAC is interested in funding programs that propose development of curriculum, training guides, and best practices associated with recruiting poll workers with disabilities and making polling places more welcoming and accessible to those with disabilities. Note, however, that there is no requirement that applicants must recruit poll workers with disabilities. 2008 grantees recompeting for this year MUST propose a program that addresses these program areas/issues.

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Must applicants conduct a program in 2009 or can applicants propose projects for one or more elections in 2010?

Applicants may propose planning and/or scaled down activities in the 2009
election cycle in preparation for larger initiatives for the 2010 election cycle. EAC
understands that not all jurisdictions have elections in 2009. Some applicants may wish to conduct two elections in 2010 or they may wish to devote resources to developing a larger initiative only for the November general election. EAC will
not limit the possibilities. Applicants should propose a program that both meets
the goals and objectives of the College Poll Worker Program and is reasonable
given your regional and local circumstances.

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Are we able to partner with organizations in other states or jurisdictions by filing a joint application?

Yes, an application may be developed jointly by more than one agency or
organization, although the application must identify one organization as the legal
applicant. The other participating organizations can be included as coparticipants, sub-grantees, or subcontractors.

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If we received a grant from EAC in 2004 or 2006, are we eligible to apply as new grantees?

Yes. Only 2008 College Poll Worker Program grantees are restricted to applying
as re-competing grantees and must use funds to support new partnerships with
university offices of disability and other disability support groups to develop
innovative programs to recruit poll workers with disabilities and/or develop new
training material that helps all poll workers create more receptive polling place
environments on Election Day.

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What are examples of allowable costs?

Some examples of allowable costs are:


i. Salaries for Project Coordinators and assistants
ii. Recruitment materials such as flyers, brochures, and t-shirts
iii. Websites and social network strategies for marketing
iv. Training materials
v. Community Volunteer recruitment and training
vi. Travel expenses for students serving as poll workers on Election Day
vii. Surveys and analysis of participation rates, reactions, and
recommendations

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Can we pay a stipend to students?

Generally, yes, students can receive a stipend for attending training or
participating in the program. We would allow stipends or recognition for
participation or enticements for serving as poll workers. We will not pay for cash prizes or awards for competitions. A grantee would not be prohibited from using in-kind or non-federal funds to provide prizes. One thing to note: when the students serve as poll workers, most jurisdictions will give them a stipend. The program does not allow students to receive stipends when they are already being paid by the jurisdiction where they will be serving as a poll worker. In other words, no double payment for serving as poll workers should be made to students.

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What can’t funding be used for?

Funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages, debt, contingencies, contributions
to other entities, entertainment (including costs of amusement, diversion, social
activities, ceremonials, and costs relating thereto, such as meals, lodging, rentals, transportation, gratuities, and prizes), goods or services for personal use, organization costs (such as incorporation fees, brokers’ fees, fees to promoters, management consultants, attorneys, accountants, or investment counselors), religious activities, lobbying, voter registration, and get-out-the-vote
expenditures.

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Are indirect costs allowable?

Grantees may recover indirect costs under this grant up to 5 percent of the total
federal share of the grant. If an applicant has an approved federal indirect cost rate the remainder of the indirect costs can be used as a matching contribution.
Applicants without an approved indirect rate may not claim indirect costs as a
matching contribution.

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Who are the past recipients of this award?

Information about past programs and past grantees can be found on the EAC
website here:
http://www.eac.gov/payments_and_grants/help_america_vote_college_program.aspx

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What federal forms do we need for the application and does the revision date matter?

No, the revision date does not matter. Links to the specific forms can be found
below. Please note that some of these forms are very large and may take some
time to download.
i. Standard Form 424 (SF-424) Core Form
1. Budget Information--Non-Construction Programs (SF 424A)
2. Assurances--Non-Construction Programs (SF 424B)
ii. Certifications:
http://www.eac.gov/payments_and_grants/federal_standard_forms.aspx

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What is the budget justification?

There is no budget justification form. Rather, you should be sure to complete a
written narrative justification for section B.6 of the SF 424A. (Yes, it is a typo on
our announcement that indicates Section B.7). The categories on the SF-424A
form alone may not suffice for explaining how the expenses are broken down
within these categories so you should be sure to include a detailed justification for the categories. This section does NOT count towards the character count for the narrative portion of your application

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Is there a funding opportunity number or federal award identifier as requested on the SF 424 form?

No, you may leave these blank or put N/A in these sections.

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The SF 424 does not seem to be fillable form? Can we use a different version that is fillable?

You may use a different version of the SF 424 if it has exactly the same fields as
required in the form provided by EAC. You will not be penalized for handwriting
either the SF 424 or 424A.

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Do we need to scan in signatures to the electronic version of the document?

No, the electronic version of the document must be an exact duplicate of the
application, but it does not need official signatures.

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Military Heroes Initiatives

Can a for-profit organization apply?

A for-profit organization can apply as a sub-recipient of funds in
partnership with a non-profit organization or institution of higher
education. The legal applicant on the proposal must be either the nonprofit
organization or institution of higher education.

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Are organizations whose practices are not specific to the military still eligible to apply? For example, an organization that may have practices catered to individuals who are blind, but are not veterans?

While this initiative will have larger applicability for people with
disabilities, the specific research under this Notice has to fall within the
scope of the military and address the needs of those involved in the
military establishment. However, proposed activities do not have to be
carried out exclusively within military organizations

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What is the target population(s) you are looking for? Is it military personnel currently in hospitals or those recovering at home; military personnel in the U.S. or overseas; etc.?

The primary target population is injured service personnel that are still on
active duty, however, applicants will want to consider the bulk of research
in areas that have extensive military voting.

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Is the performance period strictly up to 24 months, or can it go beyond that?

While the Notice requests a two-year research plan, applicants are not
discouraged from including proposed strategies for up to a three-year
period. The intent of the two-year research plan is to gather data and
provide recommendations on the voting process and technology for
injured military personnel so that solutions may be implemented in time
for the 2012 elections, however, aspects of the research may need to take
place after the 2012 elections. Applicants should not assume that
additional funds, beyond the initial award of $500,000 will be
forthcoming.

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Is the lead applicant solely responsible for meeting all three criteria listed under Section III. A. Eligible Applicants (page 7-8)?

Applicants must meet all three criteria listed in Section III. A., however,
the inclusion of these three components may be achieved through
partnerships with other entities.

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Will higher priority be given to those that meet all the selection criteria? Are some components weighed more than others?

We are not expecting to find one proposal that meets every criterion listed
in the Notice. We will be looking to see which proposal will have the
largest or most significant impact written in the parameters we’ve
provided. Please read the selection criteria closely. You will see which
components are important to us by how they are weighted.

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Must the applicant include all the components listed in the Project Description, specifically, including section 508 compliance?

No, you do not need to include every single component. While we would
like to see recommendations, plans and implementation assistance to bring
UOCAVA voter assistance websites of FVAP, Uniformed Services and
Department of State into compliance with Section 508, this is not a
requirement. If it does not fit into your research agenda or you do not
have the expertise in that area, then it does not have to be included.

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How should partnered organizations show a split in activity and funds?

In your budget, you should include a separate line item for each
organization’s activity and budgeted amount. Describe in your budget
narrative how each cost is broken down.

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What is the indirect cost rate?

If you do not have a negotiated indirect cost rate with us, you do not need
to charge anything to the indirect rate. Universities will have negotiated
indirect cost rates with the federal government which. We will pay up to
5% of the total grant amount in indirect costs and the rest can go toward a
matching contribution. Up to 5% of the indirect cost can be shared with
any sub-recipients.

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Should there be discussion on the privacy and security concerns of voting?

Yes, the issue of privacy, security and independence of voting should not
be dismissed.

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Are organizations participating in this grant proposal excluded from participating in any of the larger research grants coming up?

No, organizations that participate in this initiative are not excluded from
participating in additional competitions if they are selected for this grant.

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Will EAC provide help getting access to data?

EAC will work with the successful applicant, the Wounded Warrior Care
and Transition Center and the Federal Voting Assistance Program to help
secure access to the needed data on injured military personnel as well as
assess the facilities to conduct the research.

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Will organizations be able to sell any of the products that result from the proposed research for profit?

In general, your organization may retain patent and data rights work
produced with federal grant funds for future sale/profit after the period of
the grant. However, the government will retain unlimited, royalty free
rights to the work. The guidance in this area can be found in the FAR.
Review 52.227-1 Authorization and Consent for details. For-profit
entities receiving federal grants funds must follow:
Cost-principles: 48 CFR 31
Administrative requirements: FAR
Audit Requirements: FAR

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Will the EAC publish a bidders list so that potential partner organizations can contact perspective applicants about partnering on the development of an application?

If you are an applicant interested in hearing from potential partners or
would like to offer your expertise to potential applicants, please send us
your name and contact information to Allison Hood at ahood@eac.gov
We will make this list available on our website at www.eac.gov.

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Is there a recording of the technical assistance call you held on May 11th and May 19th?

You can listen to the recordings at:
May 11th Call:
https://eacevents.webex.com/eacevents/lsr.php?AT=pb&SP=EC&rID=2318157&r
Key=0fc3e1435dace4d1


May 19th Call:
https://eacevents.webex.com/eacevents/lsr.php?AT=pb&SP=EC&rID=236
6942&rKey=b5aa2d01b958908e

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2010 Mock Election Program

What is secondary education?

Secondary education is grades 9-12. EAC will not prohibit programs from
targeting younger students in conjunction with a program for high school
students, but federal funds cannot be used to fund the portion of the program
targeting those younger students.

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Will the EAC weigh prior applicants more favorably than new applicants?

The EAC will not give priority consideration to either new or prior
applicants. EAC will award grants to those applicants who propose a
program that is most likely to meet the goals and objectives of the Mock
Election Program.
Applications will be reviewed according to the criteria established in the
Notice:
i. Program Design (50%)
ii. Organizational Capacity (35%)
iii. Budget/Cost Effectiveness (15%)

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What consideration are you able to give to election officials who cannot accommodate using the equipment intended for the actual election just five days before the actual election?

The program does not require the mock election to be held five days before
the actual election; rather, the program prohibits the mock election to be held
within five or less days of the election.
The intent is that programs will work with election administrators to ensure
that the voting systems utilized during the mock election are similar to the
voting systems used by voters in the project’s covered area, but this is not a
requirement.
The overall goal of the program is to operate a program of simulated elections
for students in secondary education programs to allow students to become
more familiar with voting processes and technologies so that when they
become eligible to vote they will be more comfortable with their civic duties.
Election equipment is one part of the voting system. The voting system does
not solely refer to the equipment used, but also (though not limited to) ballot
styles, registration procedures, absentee and/or early voting procedures.

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If we conduct all-mail elections, will we be less competitive than jurisdictions that use equipment?

No, the selection criteria are not weighted against jurisdictions that have all
mail-in elections. Under Program Design in the selection criteria, 20 percent
of the available points are devoted to “the extent to which the proposed
program will work with election administrators to ensure that the voting
systems used during the mock election are similar to the voting systems used
by voters
in the project’s covered area…”; so a program that mirrors an allmail
election would not be disadvantaged.

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Must applicants conduct a program in 2010?

Applicants must propose initiatives for the 2010 election cycle.

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Are we able to partner with organizations in other states or jurisdictions by filing a joint application?

Yes, an application may be developed jointly by more than one agency or
organization, although the application must identify one organization as the
legal applicant. The other participating organizations can be included as coparticipants, sub-grantees, or subcontractors.

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If we want to hire a program coordinator, must we use someone in our office?

No, grantees can determine who they would like to hire, either inside or
outside the agency. School teachers receiving a stipend in return for
coordinating activities would be one possibility. Grantees may also choose
to hire program coordinators on contractual basis.

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What are examples of allowable costs?

Some examples of allowable costs are:
i. Salaries for coordinators
ii. Printing and development costs for materials and ballots
iii. Programming for equipment or ballots used in the mock election
iv. Travel expenses for coordinators
v. Cost to transport election equipment
vi. Stipends or enticements for different levels of student participation

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What can’t funding be used for?

Funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages, bad debt, contingencies,
contributions to other entities, entertainment (including costs of amusement,
diversion, social activities, ceremonials, and costs relating thereto, such as
meals, lodging, rentals, transportation, gratuities, and prizes), goods or
services for personal use, organization costs (such as incorporation fees,
brokers’ fees, fees to promoters, management consultants, attorneys,
accountants, or investment counselors), religious activities, lobbying, voter
registration, and get-out-the-vote expenditures.

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Can we conduct voter registration in conjunction with the program?

Federal funds cannot be used to conduct actual voter registration. However, it
is not a problem if high school seniors are registered in conjunction with the
mock election program. Costs and activities associated with registering
students for the mock election are allowable.

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Can funds be used for awards for students?

We would allow stipends or recognition for participation or enticements for
serving as poll workers at the mock election. We will not pay for cash prizes
or awards for competitions. A grantee would not be prohibited from using inkind
or non-federal funds to provide prizes.

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Are indirect costs allowable?

Grantees may recover indirect costs under this grant up to 5 percent of the
total federal share of the grant. If an applicant has an approved federal indirect
cost rate, the remainder of the indirect costs can be used as a matching
contribution. Applicants without an approved indirect rate may not claim
indirect costs as a matching contribution.

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When is the budget period?

The budget period begins on or within 10 days of the date of award.
EAC anticipates making awards in early May 2010.

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Are community resources required?

Matching funds or other community resources are not required, but are
encouraged. Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate
community/stakeholder participation in the program and long term
sustainability of the program through use of non-federal cash and in-kind
support for the program.

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Can we send our electronic version on a flash drive instead of a CD or DVD?

Yes.

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What are the reporting requirements for this grant?

The reporting requirements, including deadlines, and other data
collection requirements can be found on page 13 of the application.

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Who are the past recipients of this award?

Information about past programs and past grantees can be found on the EAC
website here:
http://www.eac.gov/payments_and_grants/help_america_vote_act_mock_ele
ction_program.aspx

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How do we fill out sections 5a and 5b of the SF-424 Core Facesheet?

Both these sections can be left blank.

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Who is the agency contact and who should we ask if we have more questions?

Questions should be directed to Mark Abbott or Allison Hood at (202) 566-
3100 or by sending an email to mockelections@eac.gov. Emails will be
replied to within one business day.

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2009 Mock Election Program

What is secondary education?

Secondary education is grades 9-12. EAC will not prohibit programs from
targeting younger students in conjunction with a program for high school
students, but federal funds cannot be used to fund the portion of the program
targeting those younger students.

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Will the EAC weigh prior applicants more favorably than new applicants?

The EAC will not give priority consideration to either new or prior applicants.
EAC will award grants to those applicants who propose a program that is most
likely to meet the goals and objectives of the Mock Election Program.
Applications will be reviewed according to the criteria established in the Notice:
i. Program Design (50%)
ii. Organizational Capacity (35%)
iii. Budget/Cost Effectiveness (15%)

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What consideration are you able to give to election officials who cannot accommodate using the equipment intended for the actual election just five days before the actual election?

The program does not require the mock election to be held five days before the
actual election; rather, the program prohibits the mock election to be held within
five or less days of the election. Further, the intent is that a proposed program will
work with election administrators to ensure that the voting systems utilized during
the mock election are similar to the voting systems used by voters in the project’s
covered area, but this is not a requirement. The overall goal of the program is to
operate a program of simulated elections for students in secondary education
programs to allow students to become more familiar with voting processes and
technologies so that when they become eligible to vote they will be more
comfortable with their civic duties. Election equipment is one part of the voting
system. The voting system does not solely refer to the equipment used, but also
(though not limited to) ballot styles, registration procedures, absentee and/or early
voting procedures.

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If we conduct all-mail elections, will we be less competitive than jurisdictions that use equipment?

No, the selection criteria are not weighted against jurisdictions that have all mail-in elections. Under ‘Program Design’ in the selection criteria, 20 percent of the
available points are devoted to “the extent to which the proposed program will work with election administrators to ensure that the voting systems used during the mock election are similar to the voting systems used by voters in the project’s covered area…”, so a program that mirrors an all-mail election would not be
disadvantaged.

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Must applicants conduct a program in 2009 or can applicants propose two elections in 2010?

Applicants may propose planning and scaled down activities in the 2009 election
cycle in preparation for larger initiatives for the 2010 election cycle. EAC
understands that not all jurisdictions have elections in 2009. Some applicants may wish to conduct two elections in 2010 or they may wish to devote resources to developing a larger initiative for the November general election. EAC will not
limit the possibilities. Applicants should propose a program that meets both the
goals and objectives of the Mock Election Program and is reasonable given your
regional and local circumstances.

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Are we able to partner with organizations in other states or jurisdictions by filing a joint application?

Yes, an application may be developed jointly by more than one agency or
organization, although the application must identify one organization as the legal
applicant. The other participating organizations can be included as coparticipants, sub-grantees, or subcontractors.

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If we want to hire a program coordinator, must we use someone in our office?

No, grantees can determine who they would like to hire, either inside or outside
the agency. School teachers receiving a stipend in return for coordinating
activities would be one possibility. Grantees may also choose to hire program
coordinators on contractual basis.

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What are examples of allowable costs?

Some examples of allowable costs are:
i. Salaries for coordinators
ii. Printing and development costs for materials
iii. Programming for equipment or ballots used in the mock election
iv. Travel expenses for coordinators
v. Stipends or enticements for different levels of student participation

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What can’t funding be used for?

Funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages, bad debt, contingencies,
contributions to other entities, entertainment (including costs of amusement,
diversion, social activities, ceremonials, and costs relating thereto, such as meals, lodging, rentals, transportation, gratuities, and prizes), goods or services for personal use, organization costs (such as incorporation fees, brokers’ fees, fees to promoters, management consultants, attorneys, accountants, or investment counselors), religious activities, lobbying, voter registration, and get-out-the-vote expenditures.

back to top

Can we conduct voter registration in conjunction with the program?

Federal funds cannot be used to conduct actual voter registration. However, it is
not a problem if high school seniors are registered in conjunction with the mock
election program. Costs associated with registering students for the mock election are allowable expenditures.

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Can funds be used for awards for students?

We would allow stipends or recognition for participation or enticements for
serving as poll workers at the mock election. We will not pay for cash prizes or
awards for competitions. A grantee would not be prohibited from using in-kind or
non-federal funds to provide prizes.

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Are indirect costs allowable?

Grantees may recover indirect costs under this grant up to 5 percent of the total
federal share of the grant. If an applicant has an approved federal indirect cost rate the remainder of the indirect costs can be used as a matching contribution.
Applicants without an approved indirect rate may not claim indirect costs as a
matching contribution.

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When is the budget period?

The budget period begins on or within 10 days of the date of award. EAC
anticipates making awards in early September.

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Are community resources required?

Matching funds or other community resources are not required, but are
encouraged. Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate
community/stakeholder participation in the program and long term sustainability
of the program through use of non-federal cash and in-kind support for the
program.

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Can we send our electronic version on a flash drive instead of a CD or DVD?

Yes.

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What are the reporting requirements for this grant?

The reporting requirements, including deadlines, and other data collection
requirements can be found on page 13 of the application.

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Who are the past recipients of this award?

Information about past programs and past grantees can be found on the EAC
website here:
http://www.eac.gov/payments_and_grants/help_america_vote_act_mock_election_program.aspx

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Who is the agency contact and who should we ask if we have more questions?

Questions should be directed to Mark Abbott or Allison Hood. Mark or Allison
can be reached at (202) 566-3100 or by sending an email to
mockelections@eac.gov. Emails will be replied to within one business day.

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Accessibility

2010 Accessible Voting Technology Initiative

Can state or local governments apply as an intermediary (primary recipient) on this project?

The Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) does not preclude any particular type of organization from applying as an intermediary. However, the organization should meet the requirements listed in Section III. A. Eligible Applicants of the funding announcement. 

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If an organization has only previously received federal funds as a sub-recipient, is it eligible to apply as an intermediary?

Yes. However, organizations applying as the intermediary should demonstrate a track record of successfully managing federal funds on projects of this scope and size. Organizations with specific expertise and research experience may be better suited as sub-recipients on the project. 

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Can I submit an application with pre-selected sub-recipients?

Yes. Submitting an application with pre-selected sub-recipients is encouraged. Priority consideration is given to proposals that can allocate 40% of the designated funds to the sub-recipients within the first six months of the grant. 

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Do sub-recipients have to go through a competitive process?

EAC is interested in a fair, open and transparent sub-awarding process. We encourage a process that values and documents appropriately the competitive 2 strengths of potential sub-recipients. We also appreciate the specialized expertise that particular organizations can provide. When submitting your application, please briefly describe the method and rationale (if applicable) for selecting the sub-recipients. 

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Is there a way for organizations that are interested in being either a sub-recipient or an intermediary to find each other?

EAC is maintaining a set of “Bidders Lists” for the benefit of prospective applicants. If your organization is interested in being either a sub-recipient or an intermediary, please send an email to Jess Myers at jmyers@eac.gov with the name of your organization, contact, and any other relevant information. These lists will be posted on the EAC website. Please note that EAC does not endorse any of the organizations on the lists and that participation on the lists does not affect the grant review or selection process. 

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What is expected in the coordination of this project with the Military Heroes Initiative?

The Accessible Voting Technology and the Military Heroes Initiatives are both funded from the $8 million congressional appropriation to develop an accessible voting research technology program. Since the two initiatives share similar goals, EAC would expect the recipients to collaborate in meeting their respective research objectives. EAC would expect the recipients 1) to coordinate project plans to resolve any potential overlaps, 2) to leverage each other’s backgrounds, skills and resources so that the projects can progress efficiently and to the maximum fiscal benefit to the federal government, and 3) to communicate any findings that may be relevant to the other party. 

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What are the intellectual property rights of the grantee under this grant?

The NOFA Section VI. B. 3. provides the EAC with a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable right to use publications and materials, including data, produced under this agreement. The grantee must also make these publications and materials available to the public upon request. Other grantee intellectual property rights are covered by 35 U.S.C. Sec. 200 et seq. These provisions and implementing regulations allow grantees to retain title over and profit from any intellectual property developed under this grant. In order to retain title the grantee must meet certain reporting and other requirements within specific time periods. Generally, Federal agencies are granted a non-exclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up license to utilize on behalf of the United States, the intellectual property developed under the grant throughout the world. 

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FOIA

FOIA

How do I obtain information routinely available to the public

A great deal of information is available to the public without filing a FOIA request. Examples are EAC policies, procedures, and advisory opinions as well as reports issued by the EAC and the Office of Inspector General.  Many items are available electronically on the EAC’s web site.  If you are not sure where to begin your search, contact the EAC’s FOIA liaison:

EAC Chief FOIA Officer, 1335 East West Highway, Suite 4300 Silver Spring MD 20910, 202-566-3100

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Will the EAC accept written requests, including fax or e-mail, for routinely available information?

Yes. Although a request for this type of information is not a FOIA request, the EAC will send you the requested information and charge you for the copies, according to the fee schedule in 11 CFR 9405.9 – 9405.12.

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Can I request records under the FOIA over the telephone?

No.  A request for documents under the FOIA must be in writing.  You may submit a request through the postal mail, by email, by fax or via electronic mail.  Additionally, if you modify your request, you must verify the change in writing to the appropriate FOIA office processing the request.  Otherwise, processing will not begin.

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What do I need to know about the records I am requesting in my FOIA request?

In order for a record to be considered subject to your FOIA request, it must be in the EAC’s possession and control at the time the EAC begins its search for responsive records. There is no obligation for the EAC to create or compile a record to satisfy a FOIA request (for example, by combining or compiling selected items from manual files, preparing a new computer program, calculating proportions, percentages, frequency distributions, trends and comparisons, or creating maps)

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What information do I need to include in my FOIA request?

  1. A description of the records

  2. Where you believe the records are located (if possible)

  3. A statement of your willingness to pay fees or a complete fee waiver justification

  4. Your fee category, i.e., commercial use; scientific/educational; news media or other

  5. Your postal address (this IS REQUIRED in order to mail documents to you)

If you are filing a Privacy Act request, include a written authorization signed by: 

  1. You (if this is a first party request)

  2. The individual to whom the records are about (if you are requesting the records on behalf of someone)

  3. Legal representation of the individual to whom the records are about

You should also provide any additional information required in the Privacy Act System of Records Notice.

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In what form or format will the records be sent to me?

Generally, you may choose the form or format of disclosure for records.  The EAC must provide the record(s) in the requested form/format if the office responding to the request can readily reproduce the record in that form/format with reasonable efforts. Applicable FOIA fees will apply regardless of the format.

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Where do I send my request?

Submit your request in writing through postal mail, email, or fax to the EAC’s Chief FOIA Officer, 1201 New York Ave., NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005.

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How long will it take to receive a response to my request?

When your request is received by the appropriate office, it will be given a processing number.  At that time, the FOIA officer will determine whether your request is "perfected," meaning that the request addresses and complies with the EAC’s requirements under the FOIA. The EAC will send an acknowledgement providing you with the processing or reference number. 

Ordinarily, the EAC has 20 workdays from the date of receipt to respond to your request.  If you have not received a response within 20 workdays or 30 workdays if an extension has been taken (be sure to allow for mailing time), you may contact the EAC FOIA Office to ask about the delay.  You should contact the person listed in the acknowledgement letter as the point of contact for your request to check the status. 

Please note these time limits do not apply to requests for expedited processing. 

The 20 workday time limit begins to run when a request complying with the procedures in 11 CFR §§ 9405.7, is received by the FOIA contact at the office that has the records you are seeking and all issues regarding fees and the scope of your request are resolved.

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When will the office take a time extension to respond to my request?

The FOIA office may extend the 20-working day time limit for 10 more working days when it needs to:

  1. Search for and collect the requested records from multiple offices;

  2. Search for, collect, and examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records sought in a single request; or

  3. Consult with another agency that has a substantial interest in the determination of the request.

If the FOIA office intends to take an extension under this subsection, it will notify you in writing and provide the reason for the extension and the date it expects to make a determination on your request.

If an extension is necessary and the office is unable to respond to your request within 30 workdays, it will notify you in writing when you may expect a final response and advise you of your appeal rights. If an extension is taken and you have not received a response in 30 workdays, you may consider the request denied and file an appeal or a lawsuit.

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What are the criteria for receiving expedited processing?

  1. To receive expedited processing of your request, you must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the FOIA office that your request meets one of the following criteria:

    1. Circumstances in which the lack of expedited treatment could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual;
    2. An urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged Federal Government activity if the request is made by a person primarily engaged in disseminating information.  In most situations, a person primarily engaged in disseminating information is a representative of the news media. The requested information must be the type of information which has particular value that will be lost if not disseminated quickly and ordinarily refers to a breaking news story of general public interest. However, neither information of historical interest only or sought for litigation or commercial activities nor a news media deadline unrelated to breaking news qualify for expedited processing; or
    3. The loss of substantial due process rights.
  2. A request for expedited processing should be submitted with your FOIA request. For a prompt determination, you must submit a request complying with the requirements of 11 CFR § 9405.7 to the Chief FOIA Officer.

  3. If you are seeking expedited processing, you must submit a statement explaining in detail the basis for your request. You must certify in your letter that your need for expedited processing is true and correct to the best of your knowledge and belief.

  4. Within 10 calendar days of receipt of your request, the FOIA office will notify you whether it will grant expedited processing. If expedited processing is granted, the office will give priority to that FOIA request and process the request as soon as practicable. If expedited processing is denied, the FOIA office will notify you of your right to appeal the decision on expedited processing. Appeals of denials of requests for expedited processing will be processed ahead of other appeals (see 43 CFR Part 2, § 2.32(b)). If the FOIA office has not responded to your request for expedited processing within 10 calendar days, you have a right to file an appeal for non-response.

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What is the fee schedule for processing requests?

The FOIA office will charge fees consistent with the provisions in 11 CFR §§ 9405.9 – 9405.12.

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