The State Board of Elections announced at its meeting on April 28 that the Governor has agreed to amend the state budget to include language authorizing the spending of federal CARES funds for elections and promising to commit a 20% match. The League is still advocating to remove the 20% state match and to increase the total funding level for 2020 elections during the coronavirus outbreak.
The CARES Act stimulus package includes $400 million in new Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds for states to utilize to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus for the 2020 election cycle. States can use these funds to purchase cleaning supplies, protective masks for staff and poll workers, resources to meet the increased demand for absentee ballots due to self-isolation and quarantine in response to COVID-19, and temporary staff to process the increased absentee ballot demand. However, in order to qualify for funding, states must commit to a 20% match to be paid over two years.
New York State qualifies for $20 million through the CARES Act and is required to commit $4 million in match funding funds. The League is calling on Congress to repeal the mandated 20% state match to receive these funds. The New York State League has sent a letter to all members of the New York State Congressional delegation urging them to amend the CARES Act to eliminate the need for state matching funds.Contact Congressman Antonio Delgado and Senators Gillibrand and Shumer to urge them to eliminate the 20% state match for election funding.