FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 16, 2018
Silver Spring, Md. – The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) today announced that each of the 55 eligible states and territories have requested 100 percent of the newly appropriated Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds and a combined $333,921,264 have already been transferred into state accounts. The announcement comes just under four months after Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 that allocated $380 million in additional HAVA funds to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“Even as election officials across the nation prepare for the upcoming midterm elections, they have wasted no time in requesting these funds and developing their plans to bolster election security and administration. This is a testament to the dedication and competency of election officials,” said EAC Chairman Thomas Hicks. “Congress intended for these security funds to be extended to the states as quickly as possible to have a significant impact on the 2018 election and beyond, and to provide states with necessary funding to help secure their elections and continually improve voter confidence. However, it is just one of many ways states have worked to secure and improve their systems since the previous federal elections. The EAC is proud to support this critical work and assist election administrators in any way we can.”
The EAC is currently reviewing state narratives and budgets and the Commission will release these plans in mid-August 2018. HAVA funds were designated to improve the administration of elections for federal office. This $380 million in funding marked the first new appropriations for HAVA funds since FY2010. Funds were allocated to states were determined using a voting age population formula described in Section 101 of HAVA.
The EAC sent states grant award notification letters in early April. The letter allowed states to incur costs, with prior EAC approval, against the forthcoming grant awards, effective the date of the notification letter. Funds were then available for states to draw down and deposit in their state election accounts after they return signed grant documents and the required certifications and assurances. The Commission has also distributed Congressional guidance on how states could spend the funding and an FAQ guide.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 requires that states match five percent of the federal funds. The matching funds must be made available within two years of the start of the grant award. To meet match obligations, states may either deposit matching funds in their state election accounts or track eligible funds and activities from their state and local general operating budgets. States with remaining HAVA funds from prior appropriations should track and report on those expenses separately from this new award.
For more information about today’s announcement or the HAVA grants, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-897-9285.
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The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) was established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). It is an independent, bipartisan commission charged with ensuring secure, accurate and accessible elections by developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, and serving as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration. EAC also accredits testing laboratories and certifies voting systems, as well as administers the use of HAVA funds. For more information, visit www.eac.gov.