Grants available to improve polling places in MinnesotaMinnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie announced this week that his office is currently seeking grant proposals from cities, townships and counties for accessibility improvements to polling places in Minnesota.
By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie announced this week that his office is currently seeking grant proposals from cities, townships and counties for accessibility improvements to polling places in Minnesota.
Approximately $400,000 in Federal Election Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (EAID) grants are provided through the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. Funds must be used to improve polling place accessibility for voters with disabilities and cannot be used for general improvements to structures.
“I am pleased that again this year we are able to use funding from the Help America Vote Act to help local election officials remove accessibility barriers and improve access in polling places throughout our state,” said Ritchie.
The office is asking local election officials to submit grant proposals for accessibility improvements and tools that will provide privacy and independence for the voter, such as automatic door openers, disability parking spaces, ramps, accessible voting booths, and magnifiers. In past years grants have ranged from approximately $100 up to $6,000. The deadline for grant applications is 4 p.m. on Monday, October 31, 2011. Grant recipients will be notified by the end of the year.
“Minnesotans can be very proud of our local elections officials’ strong commitment to eliminating accessibility barriers in polling places and ensuring that every eligible voter can participate in our democracy and successfully cast a ballot,” concluded Ritchie.
For more information on the EAID grant application process contact Adam Aanerud by email: Adam.Aanerud@state.mn.us or phone: 651-556-0644.