Election protection funds

In the $1.3 trillion federal spending bill that was approved last month, $380 million in Help America Vote Act election security funds were appropriated to the Election Assistance Commission to provide grants to states. The funds must be used to improve the administration of federal elections, enhance technology, or make certain election security improvements.

The federal commission recently released state-by-state grant totals, with Minnesota scheduled to receive almost $6.6 million in federal funds to be spent over the next five years. The required 5% state match is $329,781 and will need to be appropriated in the next two years.

Requests for additional federal funding for election security have increased after the Department of Homeland Security announced Russian hackers scanned the digital voter registration systems in 21 states leading up to the 2016 election. These funds will provide security improvements to the statewide voter registration system and protect against future interference in Minnesota elections. (SF 3839)