Craighead County receives grants to aid in election efforts during pandemic

by George Jared ([email protected]) 287 views 

Craighead County has secured $59,856 in nonprofit grants to fund secure elections. The grants, awarded by the nonpartisan Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), will help the Craighead County Election Commission administer elections this year in the midst of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

“We are excited about this partnership with CTCL. Craighead County has a long history of running fair, safe and accountable elections and during this unprecedented time, this additional revenue will help us continue to accomplish our goals,” Craighead County Judge Marvin Day said. “It is wonderful that we received this grant. We are proud that the county is protecting its voters while also being fiscally responsible. The Election Commission and coordinator have done a great job to make this happen.”

The national recession that accompanied the pandemic has caused serious budget challenges for localities across the country. State and local governments around the nation are grappling with unexpected deficits, raising the serious prospect of deep and difficult cuts to core services. As a result, localities are struggling with how to conduct safe and accessible elections – especially if a second wave of coronavirus erupts this fall.

To meet this challenge, Craighead County applied for grant funds from CTCL to support elections operations, Day said. This grant program will enable localities to prepare for and operate safe elections by investing in priorities that would otherwise be challenging to accomplish such as securely opening an adequate number of voting sites; setting up the drive-thru absentee drop off location (209 W. Washington); and recruiting and training a sufficient number of poll workers. The Craighead County grant application has been awarded in full by CTCL.

“Election departments 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 support to Craighead County so no voter is required to make a choice between their health and their ability to vote. From ensuring that polling places are following the latest public health guidelines to making options available for voters to participate, to protecting those who step up to serve as poll workers, we’re proud to partner with Craighead County to deliver a smooth voting process that inspires confidence,” Epps-Johnson added.

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