HARRISBURG – Election Integrity Grant Program (EIGP) awards, created as part of Act 88 of 2022, were recently announced, according to Sen. Cris Dush (R-25).
During the 2020 election cycle, a nonprofit, funded largely by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, injected more than $22 million in grants into Pennsylvania county election offices.
Correspondence between the nonprofit’s officials, the Wolf Administration and county officials showed that Democrat-leaning counties were selectively invited to apply for the grants before Republican-leaning counties were even made aware of the funding.
One county saw their elections budget double after this nonprofit provided a last-minute cash infusion and there were notable funding discrepancies between counties. For example, Philadelphia received $8.83 per voter in funding while Venango County, with a Republican voter registration advantage, received only 64 cents per voter.
Act 88 responds to those issues by banning state and county elections offices from applying for or accepting outside funding for election administration.
However, to ensure our counties have the resources they need to run our elections, the act creates the Election Integrity Grant Program to provide every county with the opportunity to apply for a combined $45 million during the next two upcoming elections.
Counties will be able to use the funding to help count election ballots, print ballots and other election-related costs incurred to properly carry out elections. In return, the counties must clean up their voter rolls, report the total number of voters registered prior to an election, disclose the number of mail-in votes received within 4 hours of polls closing, ensure safekeeping of all ballots and count ballots on Election Day without interruption.
“At the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania convention, I informed all the commonwealth’s commissioners that I was willing to make the election days the two most expensive days in the commonwealth if it meant that we could have Election Day be Election Day again,” said Dush. “With that funding I wanted to ensure we had clawback provisions for those who took the money but did not comply with the measures necessary to ensure secure elections. This legislation is meant to ensure both. It may be that we will need to increase that funding, but it should be done with public dollars, not money from outside interests in a ‘get out the vote’ effort aimed at benefitting one party.”
For the 25th Senatorial District – both counties in the prior district and the counties in the new district following the latest statewide redistricting – the awards are as follow:
- Cameron – $15,397.50
- Centre – $540,987.73
- Clearfield – $247,652.53
- Clinton – $112,442.93
- Elk – $103,425.87
- Jefferson – $143,866.18
- McKean – $128,283.30
- Potter – $56,522.72
- Tioga – $133,752.24
Funding amounts were based on the number of registered voters within the county in the previous primary election.
CONTACT: Zack Ankeny