Minnesota Secretary Of State - 2019-2022 Equipment Grants
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2019-2022 Equipment Grants

Grant applications are now being accepted for Minnesota’s 2019 Voting Equipment Grants. The 2019 legislature authorized an additional $2 million in grant funding available to counties, cities, towns, and school districts to assist with the purchase of voting equipment. This is in addition to the $7 million that was authorized and distributed in 2017. Similar to the 2017 legislative authorization, the legislature in 2019 authorized use of $2 million in funds to offset up to 50% of optical scan precinct counters, optical scan central counters, or assisted voting devices; or up to 75% of electronic rosters. See Minn. Laws. 2019, 1st Spec. Sess., Chap. 10, Art. 1 § 6.

Jurisdictions wishing to submit an application for grant funds must do so by January 31, 2020.

Download the equipment grant application (Microsoft Word).

If you have questions about the application or the grant process, you may contact Brad Anderson at bradley.k.anderson@state.mn.us or (651) 556-0642.

Important Dates for the Grant Application

  • January 31, 2020: Applications must be received by the OSS by 4 p.m.
  • March 31, 2020: Grants will be awarded with across the board reductions if more requests are received than funds available.
  • April 2020 to May 2020: Grant contracts signed and returned, funds provided to jurisdictions
  • April 2020 to December 2020: Equipment purchased
  • December 31, 2020: Unused funds must be returned to the OSS.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How are the grant amounts determined?

A: Grant amounts are determined based on the number of precincts used for the November 2018 State General Election (4,113 statewide). OSS has determined the maximum possible grant to be awarded would be $5,000 per precinct. If the applications submitted exceed the $2 million allocated by the legislature, which seems likely, this amount will be proportionally reduced. At a minimum, the awarded grant would be proportionally reduced down to $486.26 per precinct if every county applied for the grant.

The number of precincts is only used to determine the maximum grant amount for the jurisdiction. Applicants will decide on how much of the grant to apply to the various equipment types. By law, the grant may only be used for up to 50% of optical scan precinct counters, optical scan central counters, or assisted voting devices; or for up to 75% of electronic rosters.

Q: What equipment is covered by the grant?

A: The grant may only be used the purchase of optical scan precinct counters, optical scan central counters, assisted voting devices, or electronic rosters. The grant may not be used for optional software/equipment such as ballot programming, electronic results reporting, etc. The local government will need to fund the remainder of any purchases.

Q: Does a local government need formal authorization to apply for a grant?

A: For counties, a county board resolution approving the application for the grant funds must be attached to a county grant application. For municipalities and school districts, a resolution from the city council, town board, or school board approving the application for grant funds is required. A letter from the county auditor agreeing to assist the municipality/school district in use of the equipment must also be attached to a municipality or school district application.

Q: Is a local government required to purchase equipment off of the State Cooperative Purchasing Contract?

A: No. Local governments are permitted, but not required to purchase from the state contract. A local government may use grant funds for the allowed equipment based on its own purchasing process.

Q: What if I received grant funds as part of the previous Voting Equipment Grant Account grant awards? Can I still apply and receive funds from the 2019 Voting Equipment Grant Account?

A: Yes. All local governments are eligible to apply for the 2019 Voting Equipment Grant Account grants. If you have received a previous Voting Equipment Grant Account grant, the only restriction is that those state funds cannot be used to fulfill the match requirement for your current grant application. The required matching funds must come from the local government entity, and cannot come from a previous state Voting Equipment Grant Account grant.