Washington already has doled out the money, with $4 million sitting in a North Carolina account. But to access this care package, the state has to put up $660,000 of its own. A no-brainer?
A no-brainer? Sure seems like it.
The federal government requires that the states maintain their core budgets at no less than the 2000 level minimums, or the maintenance of effort (MOE) level of funding.
This provision keeps you from intentionally undercutting your budget, so that the funds are actually used to increase election integrity, instead of completely drained to replace an operating budget for a cycle or two.
Election officials from more than 85 counties have sent a letter to legislative leaders urging them to release $4 million designated for improving the administration of the 2012 elections. ...
The bipartisan group of election officials note in their letter that given the large voter turnout this fall, the new district lines, and split precincts, the federal HAVA funds are needed for poll worker training, the testing of voting equipment, and other technical support needs.
This is a bipartisan effort. Many rural cash-strapped counties are in the greatest need.
We need your help to tell your state legislators you want the NC General Assembly to release the HAVA funds and run a clean, fair, and transparent election process.
Read more at: The NC Conservation Network
So do something about it. The NC Conservation Network link has an e-mail your legislator function. There will also be efforts to push for releasing the funds at the HKonJ march this Saturday, and the rally on the 16th when the General Assembly comes back into session.
Some are quick to accuse the General Assembly of playing politics, rather than working to ensure a fair and democratic process with the upcoming elections. I'm not so sure. I think there is just a lack of awareness out there about the importance of HAVA funds, especially for a big election year, among the general public and General Assembly. There is a bipartisan list of county officials calling on these funds to be released. And there are a good number of elected officials who joined the General Assembly in 2010, and maybe haven't experienced budgeting for a high turn out presidential election year yet.
I genuinely believe there is room for bipartisan/nonpartisan support for fair elections, with well-functioning equipment, well-trained poll workers, and enough early voting sites to avoid huge lines during a high turnout election year. Right, left, center, or otherwise, I think most people get into politics, in part, because they believe in our democratic system. I think we just need to raise awareness, spread the word, and advocate for the release of these funds. We can start by contacting our legislators, and attending the marches/rallies previously mentioned.