The 2020 Presidential election is already promising to be a cluster, and that's not even factoring in COVID-19. But the Dallas County Elections Department is getting help in the form of a multimillion-dollar grant from a nonprofit to help with staffing and resources for the event.
According to a release, the county received $15,130,433 from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a nonpartisan nonprofit that connects elections officials with technology to better communicate with voters and increase civic engagement.
The pandemic has brought new challenges to administering elections safely and securely. This grant will allow Dallas County to:
- hire additional personnel
- purchase additional voting and mail ballot sorting equipment
- open and operate more Early Voting and Election Day locations
- ensure sanitization of voting equipment
- purchase sufficient PPE for both poll-workers and voters.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says that the circumstances surrounding this election are unprecedented, and lists all the ways that Texas has jacked it up, including:
- anticipated long lines due to Gov. Greg Abbott blocking expanded mail-in-voting during the pandemic
- the legislature's elimination of straight-ticket voting
- the necessity for social distancing due to the pandemic
- longer ballots due to the addition of municipal and ISD races and measures
"We know this election will be unlike any other in recent history," Jenkins says. "The over $15 million grant from the Center for Tech and Civic Life to our Dallas County Elections Department for this general election acknowledges the challenges we face and provides resources to ensure your vote counts and we have a safe and secure election this November."
Toni Pippins-Poole, Elections Administrator for Dallas County calls the grant "an investment in the success of our upcoming election" which will help ensure that every citizen who is eligible to vote can do so in a safe and secure manner.
There's more information about the Center for Tech and Civic Life and their COVID-19 Response Fund on their website, www.techandciviclife.org.