Released: August 19, 2020
During its August 19 meeting, Delaware County Council unanimously voted to accept a $2.2 million grant to support a safe elections process for the November Primary Election.
The grant, awarded by the nonpartisan Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) through its COVID-19 Response Grants Program, will support Delaware County in administering elections this year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and address the challenges that the pandemic presents.
The grant will enable the County to prepare for and operate safe elections this November including recruiting and training a sufficient number of poll workers; setting up drop box locations for voters to return ballots; supporting opportunities to vote early through over-the-counter mail in voting and voter education and outreach.
The grant application, submitted by Delaware County, was awarded in full by CTCL and ratified by County Council on August 19, 2020. Some of the initiatives listed in the grant application will require the approval by the Board of Elections.
“The deadly COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impaired the ability of local governments to administer safe and secure elections,” said Delaware County Councilwoman Christine Reuther. “We are grateful for the Center for Tech and Civic Life for granting our county these funds to help us ensure safe elections during this public health emergency, which we would otherwise have a difficult time doing given the budget shortfalls.”
The award will enable Delaware County to:
Install walk-in satellite voting centers along with mobile “pop up” voting centers that will travel throughout the county
Provide hazard pay for poll workers to ensure the County has sufficient staffing of election sites and a sufficient number of in-person voting opportunities
Place and monitor 50 drop boxes where individuals can return vote-by-mail ballots without dropping them in the mail
Purchase equipment and hire temporary staff to support processing of mail in ballot applications and ballots
“Election departments nationwide are facing an unprecedented challenge of administering safe and secure elections that provide healthy voting options to the public,” said Center for Tech and Civic Life Executive Director Tiana Epps-Johnson. “To meet this challenge, CTCL is providing funding and technical support to Delaware County through its COVID-19 Response Grants to support a smooth, safe voting process for Delaware County voters that inspires confidence.”
The Center for Tech and Civic Life is a nationally-recognized, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of civic technologists, trainers, researchers, election administration and data experts working to help modernize U.S. elections. CTCL connects election officials with guidance, expertise, tools, and trainings so they can best serve their communities, and ensure that elections are more professional, safe, and secure. CTCL works with the federal government, as well as local and state governments of all sizes across the nation and regardless of partisanship to highlight best practices, create easy-to-use resources for administrators, and develop infrastructure to better operate elections.