1. SUMMARY. The COVID-19 Pandemic lead to a temporary shift in focus early on in 2020, however election security continues to remain a top priority for Wisconsin. Devices with outdated anti-virus software or unsupported operating systems put voter information and critical election administration tasks at risk. To help communities improve their computer hardware, software, and support, any Wisconsin County, City, Village, or Town that did not receive the funds from the 2019 Election Security Subgrant program may apply for a grant of up to $1,200.00 to achieve baseline security in their jurisdiction. This extension of the subgrant program is provided by federal election security money under the Help America Vote Act.
2. WHAT CAN FUNDS BE USED FOR? Subject to grant conditions, jurisdictions must use the funds for the following expenses:
1) computer hardware and/or software to meet minimum security recommendations
2) professional IT support
3) travel and staff costs associated with Election Security training
Please see the chart on page four of this document for further information. Jurisdictions accepting grant funds must also agree to complete an Elections Security Contingency Plan (sample provided).
3. WHAT IF I ALREADY RECEIVED FUNDS PREVIOUSLY?
There are circumstances where a municipality may be approved to receive funds under the 2020 Election Security Subgrant even if it already received funds under the 2019 Election Security Subgrant. For example, if a new clerk needs to attend Security Training or the municipality’s only computer quit working after the previous application period. In these situations, please note on the application the circumstance so it can be reviewed.
4. HOW DO JURISDICTIONS APPLY? The clerk of each jurisdiction must submit a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to the WEC postmarked no later than September 1, 2020. The MOU is available on the WEC website with this memorandum. Simply complete the MOU and return a signed copy to the WEC. Electronic versions of the MOU that contain a signature are acceptable and may be emailed to [email protected].
5. WILL THE WISCONSIN ELECTIONS COMMISSION HELP? Absolutely! The WEC has detailed guides that suggest solutions and provide instructions how to meet all requirements. These guides come with the application materials.
6. WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE? Call the WEC Help Desk at 608-261-2028 or e-mail [email protected].
Memorandum of Understanding
Appendix A: Grant Compliance Form
Appendix B: Grant Compliance Standards
Appendix C: How-to Guides