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Published February 10, 2020

On December 20, 2019, President Donald J. Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 into law. The Act includes $425 million in new Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds, made available to states to improve the administration of elections for Federal office, including to enhance technology and make election security improvements. The 2020 HAVA Election Security Fund, authorized under Title I Section 101 of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, marks the second new appropriations for HAVA grants since FY2010. This funding will provide states with additional resources to secure and improve election administration.  The appropriated amount to Montana is $3,127,978.

On February 7, 2020, the Secretary of State’s Office submitted a budget and narrative proposal to the Election Assistance Commission  for the $3,127,978.  The 20% state match is $625,596 for a total of $3,753,574. The state match will be met with the Secretary of State’s expenditures within the enterprise fund.  The 2020 HAVA grant funds are allocated as follows:

  • County subgrant program – $1,912,636
    Subgrants will be made available to all of Montana’s 56 counties to be used in accordance with the HAVA spending provisions.  The allocation is based on using the Montana Association of Counties (MACo) allocation formula which includes a base amount of $15,000 for all counties and the remainder calculated using the counties’ populations.  The population amounts are based on the data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division–Release Date: April 2019.
  • National Guard- $200,000
    The Montana Secretary of State will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Montana National Guard to conduct security risk assessments and follow-up visits in Montana counties.
  • Indirect Cost – $1,015,342
    The Secretary of State’s Office will recover indirect costs per 17-1-106, Montana Code Annotated.
  • Election Administration $625,596
    The state match will be met with the Secretary of State’s enterprise fund for Election and Voter Services Division expenditures, including administrative expenses, payroll, and staff training and development for existing contracted election IT systems.

Linked below is the allocation spreadsheet provided by MACo, which includes the total amount for each county.  Each county is required to submit a paragraph detailing how the funds will be used to improve the administration of elections, enhance technology, and make elections security improvements to by July 1, 2020.

Shantil Siaperas  |  MACo Communications Director |  |  (406) 449-4360