Alabama counties now able to apply for COVID-19-related election expense reimbursement


Special to the
Opelika Observer

Last Wednesday, Alabama received $6,473,612 from the coronavirus stimulus package recently appropriated by Congress. The Alabama Secretary of State’s Office will match 20% ($1,294,722) of this funding to prepare for and respond to election activities on July 14 as well as Nov. 3.

In order to keep polling places safe and sanitary, the Office of the Secretary of State intends to reimburse counties for various preparation and election expenses including, but not limited to, masks, gloves, disinfectant spray, hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes and professional cleaning services to return the polling places back to their sanitary pre-election condition.

“Protecting the health and well-being of our voters is of paramount importance. We will continue to maintain close communication with the local election officials in all 67 of Alabama’s counties to safeguard the opportunity for voters to appear at the polls in-person on Election Day,” stated Secretary of State John H. Merrill.

Funds will be set aside to reimburse Absentee Election Managers for the added work completed due to the lengthened absentee voting period as well as to compensate poll workers with additional pay.

“Poll workers and Absentee Election Managers are being tasked with an increased workload during these trying times, and it is important that they are compensated accordingly,” Merrill added. “We greatly appreciate their commitment and dedication to ensuring the electoral process continues in a safe and healthy manner.”

Reports of state spending will be submitted to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission for public inspection. All resources must be expended for these purposes no later than Dec. 31.


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