Secretary of the State Denise Merrill today announced that Connecticut has successfully won a federal grant of $1,184,441 from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, a federal body established as a result of the 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA).
The federal grant was attained through Secretary Merrill committing a state match of $62,000 and was awarded June 8th through federal HAVA funds available to states. The new funds can be used for a variety of functions used to enhance voting technology, such as maintaining or enhancing Connecticut’s optical scan voting machines, testing or investing in new voting systems for disabled voters, and making improvements to the state Centralized Voter Registration database.
“Once again we have been successful in maximizing federal dollars in a way that will directly benefit Connecticut voters,” said Secretary Merrill, Connecticut’s chief elections official. “This grant will be a very important help for municipalities all over our state who are all facing difficult budget decisions. Through these funds we can help defray the cost of maintaining our optical scan voting technology, which has now shifted entirely to the local level. We will also be able to look at new technology and make significant enhancements to the infrastructure upon which the integrity of our elections rests.”
In addition to this grant, Connecticut recently won a federal grant of $230,000 for a proposed partnership with the University of Connecticut Voting Technology Research (VOTER) Center to improve the post-election audit process. Secretary Merrill is also aggressively pursuing another $800,000 federal HAVA grant which can also be used to enhance voting technology. If successful, that would bring in a total of more than $2.2 million in federal funds to the Secretary of the State’s office in 2011 to improve elections.