Allocating Unspent HAVA Grants

August 9, 2022

Since 2018, the federal government has provided states two major election funding grants under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA): the 2020 CARES Act grants and the 2018, 2020, and 2022 election security grants. But the majority of New Hampshire’s security grant funds remain unspent. The state should extend some of the remaining funds directly to local election officials to address their needs — including recruitment and training of poll workers. It should also fund investments in technology to facilitate more secure and accurate voter registration and list maintenance.

  • New Hampshire has over two-thirds of its HAVA security grant funds remaining. The state has only spent 29% of the election security grant money it has received — it still has around 5.5 million dollars left to allocate (out of a total grant amount plus interest of nearly 7.7 million dollars).
  • So far, the state has largely allocated funds toward statewide projects, including:
    – Trainings and updates to website and voter-education materials
    – Enhanced cybersecurity
    – Planned improvements to the voter registration system
    – Upgrades to electronic pollbooks
  • Some of the remaining funds should be allocated directly to cities and towns. Local jurisdictions know their own needs best. They can use the funds for poll worker and volunteer recruitment and trainings, as well as to address other identified needs like jurisdiction-specific voter education materials.
  • Some of the remaining funds should be allocated to technology modernization efforts. This could include technology upgrades necessary to participate in the Electronic Registration Information Center, to implement online voter registration, and to implement automatic voter registration.