Election Reform Payments

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
General Services Administration
CFDA #: 39.011

Purpose of this program:

The purpose of the Title 1, Section 101 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, is to improve the administration of elections for Federal office. The purpose of Section 102 is to replace a punch card voting system or a lever voting system.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

Section 101 Requires State to use the payment to carry out one or more of the activities listed: Complying with the requirements of Title III of the Act; Improving the administration of elections for Federal office; Educating voters concerning voting procedures, voting rights, and voting technology; Training election officials, poll workers, and election volunteers; Developing the State plan for requirements payments to be submitted under Part 1 of Subtitle D of Title II (Sections 251-257) of the Act; Improving, acquiring, leasing, modifying, or replacing voting systems and technology and methods for the casting and counting of votes; Improving the accessibility and quantity of polling places, including providing physical access for individuals with disabilities, providing non-visual access for individuals with visual impairments, and providing assistance to Native Americans, Alaska Native citizens, and to individuals with limited proficiency in the English language; and/or Establishing a toll-free telephone hotline that voters may use to report possible voting fraud and voting rights violations, to obtain general election information, and to access detailed automated information on their own voter registration status, specified polling place locations, and other relevant information. Section 102 requires State to use the funding (either directly or as a reimbursement for costs incurred on or after January 1, 2001) to replace punch card voting systems or lever voting systems in precincts within that State that used such systems in the November 2000 election (?qualifying precincts?). A State that receives funding for this program must ensure that all of the punch card voting systems or lever systems in the qualifying precincts within that State will be replaced in time for the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office to be held in November 2004 (unless a waiver is obtained under Section 102(a)(3)(B)). A State is eligible to receive a payment under this program if it submits to the Administrator by April 29, 2003, an application that contains the following: Certifications that the State will use the payment to replace punch card voting systems or lever voting systems in the qualifying precincts within the State by January 1, 2004; Certifications that the State will continue to comply with current voting laws stated in Section 906; Certifications that the replacement voting systems will meet the requirements of Title III, Section 301; The number of qualifying precincts in the State; and other information and certifications as the Administrator may require which are necessary for the administration of the program.

Who is eligible to apply...

States must notify the Administrator by April 29, 2003 (6 months from enactment of the Act, which was October 29, 2002) whether they will accept funding in accordance with the guidelines set forth in Sections 301 and 906. Section 301 sets standards for voting systems (equipment) and Section 906 deals with compliance with other relevant legislation, such as, the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:
Credentials/Documentation

None.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

GSA, Office of Financial Management Systems, will develop a website for applying for payments under the Act. The website will establish a 7-step process that allows States to submit their information to receive and report on funding: Step One ? Registration. The State will enter contact information including name, address and email address. Once the information has been verified, GSA will establish and issue a user ID and password to access the web site. The user ID and password will be emailed to the States. The Web site address is http://www.finance.gsa.gov/helpamericavote. Step Two ? EFT Setup. The State will use the user id and password, issued in step one, to access the web site. Banking information required for an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) will be submitted. All funds will be disbursed via EFT. Step Three ? Certification. The request must provide certification that the State will use funds in accordance with current law and guidelines stated in Sections 301 (if applicable) and 906. States may not receive funding unless they adhere to those stated guidelines. If a State is requesting reimbursement, it must also submit certification that its current voting machines are consistent with the guidelines stated in Sections 301 and 906. During this step the State will submit information about the number of qualifying precincts. States may elect to make an initial application for Section 101 funding only and later amend their application to request Section 102 funding, as long as they do so by April 29, 2003. Step Four ? Minimum disbursements. After steps one, two, and three are completed and approved, the minimum payment amount under Section 103 will be issued, $5 million for each State and $1 million for each territory. When processed, the funding will be disbursed by the Department of Treasury, via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), and deposited directly into the bank account specified in step two. States are encouraged to establish the Election Fund described in Section 254(b)(1) of the Act, and to deposit funding received under Title I into this account. Section 104(d) of the Act requires that when a State has established an election fund described in Section 254(b), the State shall ensure that any funds provided to the State under this title are deposited and maintained in such fund. Step Five ? Final disbursement calculations. After all applications are received, the calculations under Sections 101 and 102 will be performed. This step will occur after the April 29, 2003, application cutoff. Step Six ? Final disbursements. A second payment will be issued to States qualifying for more than the minimum payment. This step will occur by May 31, 2003. The funding will be disbursed by the Department of Treasury, via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), and deposited directly into the bank account specified in step two. Step Seven ? Reporting. Each funding recipient will be required to submit verification of actual purchases. Information regarding actual funds expended will be reconciled against funding provided. This information will be provided to the Election Assistance Commission once they become operational. Although exact reporting requirements have not been established yet, States are advised to track spending by Sections 101 and 102 categories.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Not applicable.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...

Deadlines

No later than April 29, 2003 all States must complete and submit their application.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not applicable.

Preapplication Coordination

None.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.

Appeals

Not applicable.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Renewals

Not applicable.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

50 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.

Beneficiaries
About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Direct Payments for Specified Use

Financial assistance from the Federal government provided directly to individuals, private firms, and other private institutions to encourage or subsidize a particular activity by conditioning the receipt of the assistance on a particular performance by the recipient. This does not include solicited contracts for the procurement of goods and services for the Federal government.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Section 101 will disburse one-half of the $650 million ($325 million) authorized amount to each State in which the Chief Executive Officer of the State, or designee, in consultation and coordination with the Chief State Election Official, notifies the Administrator by April 29, 2003 that the State intends to use the payment. For this program, GSA will calculate the amount of funding that each State receives under the guidelines specified in Section 101. Step one of two will give one-half of one percent of the $325 million to each State and the District of Columbia ($1,625,000) and one tenth of one percent of the total ($325,000) to Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and America Samoa. The total distributed under step one is $84,175,000. The second step will allocate funds from the $325 million not allocated in the first step (totaling $240,825,000) based on each State?s proportionate share of the voting age population as reported in the 2000 Census. The sum of the funds allocated in the first step and the second step equals $325 million. Section 102 will disburse the remaining $325 million to the States. A State is obligated to use the funding (either directly or as a reimbursement for costs incurred on or after January 1, 2001) to replace punch card voting systems or lever voting systems in precincts within that State that used such systems in the November 2000 election (?qualifying precincts?). A State that receives funding for this program must ensure that all of the punch card voting systems or lever systems in the qualifying precincts within that State will be replaced in time for the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office to be held in November 2004 (unless a waiver is obtained under Section 102(a)(3)(B)). For this program, funding is calculated as follows: first, $4000 is allocated to each State for each precinct that used punch card or lever voting machines in the 2000 election as certified by the State. The State totals may be reduced on a pro-rata basis so that the nationwide total of funds allocated will not exceed $325 million. Based on previous participation assumptions, the Congressional Research Service estimates that each State will receive approximately 83.84% of the total it would have otherwise received due to the $325 million cap. As a result, instead of receiving $4000 per qualifying precinct, States will receive approximately $3,354 per precinct. Section 103 of the Act guarantees that each State will receive a minimum payment of $5 million and each territory will receive a minimum payment of $1 million. If a State were to receive less than $5 million (or a Territory less than $1 million) for both programs, based on the calculations described above, that State?s or Territory?s payment will be increased to the minimum. The remaining States? payments under Sections 101(d) and 102(c) will be reduced so that the total does not exceed the $650 million authorized by Section 104.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.

Obligations

(Salaries and Expenses) FY 03 $649,621,349; FY 04 est $0; and FY 05 est $0.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification

47-0601-0-1-808.

Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Not applicable.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

Implementation: GSA sent a letter to the State election officials on March 19. GSA developed a website process allowing States, territories and DC to submit necessary information to receive funding. On April 4, 2003 GSA's website operational and States began applying. As of today, total payment of $649,621,349 was successfully distributed.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

None.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

April 29, 2003 all States must complete and submit their application. Minimum payments will be issued as applications are approved. By May 31, 2003, final payments will be issued to States receiving more than the minimum payment.

Formula and Matching Requirements

Section 101 will disburse one-half of the $650 million ($325 million). GSA will calculate the amount of funding that each State receives under the guidelines specified in Section 101. Step one of two will give one-half of one percent of the $325 million to each State and the District of Columbia ($1,625,000) and one tenth of one percent of the total ($325,000) to Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and America Samoa. The total distributed under step one is $84,175,000. The second step will allocate funds from the $325 million not allocated in the first step (totaling $240,825,000) based on each State?s proportionate share of the voting age population as reported in the 2000 Census. The sum of the funds allocated in the first step and the second step equals $325 million. Section 102 will disburse the remaining $325 million to the States. For this program, funding is calculated as follows: first, $4,000 is allocated to each State for each precinct that used punch card or lever voting machines in the 2000 election as certified by the State. The State totals may be reduced on a pro-rata basis so that the nationwide total of funds allocated will not exceed $325 million. Based on previous participation assumptions, the Congressional Research Service estimates that each State will receive approximately 83.84% of the total it would have otherwise received due to the $325 million cap. As a result, instead of receiving $4,000 per qualifying precinct, States will receive approximately $3,354 per precinct. Section 103 of the Act guarantees that each State will receive a minimum payment of $5 million and each territory will receive a minimum payment of $1 million. If a State were to receive less than $5 million (or a Territory less than $1 million) for both programs, based on the calculations described above, that State?s or Territory?s payment will be increased to the minimum. The remaining States? payments under Sections 101(d) and 102(c) will be reduced so that the total does not exceed the $650 million authorized by Section 104.

Note:
A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...

Reports

By January 21, 2004, States will provide reports on actual expenditures as of December 31, 2003.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.

Audits

Title IX, Section 902, states that with respect to any grant or payment made in accordance with this Act by GSA, the Election Assistance Commission must be regarded as the office making the grant or payment, for the purposes of audits.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).

Records

Each funding recipient will be required to submit verification of actual purchases. Information regarding actual funds expended will be reconciled against funding provided. This information will be provided to the Election Assistance Commission once they become operational. Although exact reporting requirements have not been established yet, States are advised to track spending by Sections 101 and 102 categories.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.

Regulations...

Authorization

Public Law 107-252, October 29, 2002; 42 U.S.C. 15301.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

Title 1, Part 1 of Subtitle D of Title II (Sections 251-257), Title III of Public Law 107-252, the Help America Vote Act of 2002, Section 101, Section 102, Section 103, Section 301, and Section 906.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

Not applicable.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Director, Office of Budget, General Services Administration, Washington, DC 20405. Telephone: (202) 501-0719.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: