Monday, April 4, 2022

Maine receives $1M federal appropriation for Election Security


AUGUSTA — Secretary of State Shenna Bellows announced Monday that Maine received an award of $1,000,000 under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 for Election Security.

“Ongoing investment in election infrastructure is vital for Maine to continue being a national leader in election administration,” said Secretary Bellows. “We’re glad to see this investment from the federal government so that we have the resources to protect the integrity of Maine elections.”

Nationally, $75 million was appropriated for Election Security to the states and U.S. territories, which require a 20% state match. Maine will have two years to secure its $200,000 match.

“Across the state, Maine’s local election clerks are hard at work getting ready for Maine’s next elections,” said Deputy Secretary of State for Corporations, Elections and Commissions Julie Flynn. “This funding will allow us to keep technology and security up-to-date so they can keep doing their jobs well and be safe.”

Previously, Maine has used federal election funding for larger technology investments, like the Central Voter Registration System. State funding has traditionally paid for direct election costs, including ballots, postage, and envelopes.

“The sporadic nature of federal funding historically has meant that the larger investments get spaced out further than they should be,” said Secretary Bellows. “Technology modernization is one of my main goals as Secretary of State, so I’m hopeful that this inclusion of Election Security in the federal budget is the start of a new pattern of regular investments of federal funding to the states for election administration.”

Maine is currently contracting for a new Central Voter Registration system. The current system was implemented in 2007. Maine is also implementing Automatic Voter Registration at Bureau of Motor Vehicle branches, and will be putting Online Voter Registration in place by November 2023.