Wisconsin Municipal Clerks

Dear Wisconsin Municipal Clerk,

As you are likely aware, President Trump recently signed the CARES Act, designed to help small business and state governmental units deal with the effects of COVID-19.  As part of that program, states were able to request HAVA funds to offset costs associated with COVID-19 election-related expenses.  The HAVA CARES Act requires that payments from the fund be used only to cover expenses that —

(1) are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency related to the novel coronavirus COVID–19;

(2) were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State or government; and

(3) were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020.

Here are a few examples of what may be covered:

The Federal government has already made these monies available to all State governments, for state and local use.  Here is a copy of the funding request submitted by the Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC).  According to Election Assistance Commission records, the State of Wisconsin received $7,362,245 from the Federal government. The State provided the required 20% match, $1,472,269 bringing the total funds available to $8,834,814.  We have learned that counties and municipalities across the country are concerned about their ability to access these funds. We recommend that you submit your municipality's funding request to WEC as soon as possible so that your local needs are known and can be considered for funding. Here is a template grant request letter that can be used for your request, in accordance with HAVA CARES guidelines. Note: your letter should be addressed to the WEC, not the EAC. Because the HAVA CARES Act was a rapidly deployed response to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, very few requirements were included in the Act, which allows for significant flexibility within each State in how they plan on deploying the money.  Therefore, it is imperative that you assemble your estimated Labor and Expenses for the 2020 federal election cycle and submit them to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, as per guidance published by the Election Assistance Commission.  Unless you are a municipality with over 500,000 citizens, you MUST make your request directly to the Wisconsin Elections Commission and not the US Treasury.

More detailed information on the HAVA CARES Act can be found here: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares/state-and-local-governmentsWe understand how critical it is to have access to additional resources during these extraordinary times. We hope the above information will help you in applying for the funds you need. Respectfully, Catherine EngelbrechtFounderTrue the Vote