FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
EAC Releases Annual Grant Expenditure Report
EAC has administered more than $3.3 billion in grants to states and territories
Silver Spring, MD – The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) today released its Annual Grant Expenditure Report for FY 2016 that documents the allocation and spending of funds established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). The commission reiterated during a public meeting held today that it has awarded more than $3,248,946,231 in grants to the 50 states, American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. The grant funds accrued an additional $352,759,159 in interest, which was also available to states and territories.
“Fifteen years ago, Congress established the EAC in part to administer vital funding to help states upgrade voting systems and implement improvements to help Americans vote,” said EAC Chairmain Matthew Masterson. “Since then, states and territories have received more than $3.3 billion in funding, the majority of which was spent more than a decade ago to replace voting systems and bring them into HAVA compliance. While HAVA money is running out, the challenges our election officials face endure. The EAC continues to put its time and resources into working with the nation’s election officials to ensure accessible, secure, and well-administered elections.”
State and local election districts use HAVA funding to support upgrading systems for casting votes, registering voters in statewide voter registration databases, ensuring accessibility that allows all voters to vote independently and privately, and providing provisional voting options. Jurisdictions also use the funding to implement other improvements to the administration of federal elections, such as training for election officials and poll workers, polling place accessibility improvements and providing information on how and where to vote.
According to today’s audit report, U.S. states and territories have reported total expenditures of $3,292,826,478, surpassing the original amount of funds appropriated by Congress. Thirteen states have spent 100% of their HAVA funds and interest and another 28 states have less than 10% of funds remaining. Only six states have more than 30% of funds remaining. Funds remaining with 16 states account for almost 90% of unspent HAVA funds.
Included in the total expenditures is $349,182,267 in funds dispersed to states and territories under Section 101 of HAVA, which provides funds to state for activities to improve the administration of federal elections. As of Sept. 30, 2016 states reported total expenditures of $343,003,676, which is 98% of the original award amounts and 86% of total funds available when accrued interest is included. Twenty-six states have spent all of their Section 101 funds and interest and another 13 have spent at least 90% of allocated funds.
The EAC also administered another $2,639,431,943 in payments under Section 251 of HAVA, known as Requirements Payments, that provided funds to states using a formula based on a percentage equal to the quotient of the voting age population of each state and the total voting age population of all states. HAVA required that states and territories deposit Section 251 money in interest bearing state election accounts. As of Sept. 2016, 14 states reported using 100% of HAVA Requirements Payment funds and another 28 states reported using 90% or more of their funds and interest. For FY 2016, annual Requirements Payment spending was $72.6 million, down from $108 million in 2015 and $75.5 million in FY 2014.
States have spent both Section 101 and 251 funds to develop and maintain statewide voter registration systems that comply with HAVA. Through 2014, approximately $223 million, approximately 7.5% of total grants under HAVA, were used for this purpose.
A summary of the report can be found here. For more information, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-897-9285.