- The EAC will get $380 million to disburse to states 45 days after the enactment of the bill;
- States will get a minimum of $3 million (territories $600,000) with the rest allocated by population (like in HAVA); and
- States will have two years to provide a 5% match of the funds received.
This is a welcome development, but it does raise questions:
- Will there be any joint resources made available in addition to the state grants?
- How far will this money go, given that it’s roughly 10% of the funds originally authorized by HAVA?
- Can the funds make a difference in 2018?
I have no doubt there will be more analysis of this provision in the days and weeks ahead, but for now it’s encouraging that Congress has finally put some money behind all this talk about election security. Kudos to Senators Lankford, Klobuchar and others who worked to get this language included, as well as to to the members and staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who held a hearing yesterday to highlight their recommendations for improving election security, which undoubtedly helped push this provision to the finish line.
The bill still needs to be approved and signed by the President, but the prospects look good for a small infusion of federal election funding in the relatively near future.