Consistent with provisions in HAVA, states have discretion upon expenditures. The EAC can answer specific questions about how the money may be utilized, and will be capturing questions from states and sharing the answers in updated versions of this FAQ document.
As a point of reference, the EAC is including along with these FAQs the section of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 that authorizes and appropriates the federal funds as well as pages 1 and 57 of “Division E – Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2018,” which is a joint explanatory statement that indicates congressional intent on how the funds may be spent. The joint explanatory language provides on page 57, that:
The bill provides $380,000,000 to the Election Assistance Commission to make payments to states for activities to improve the administration of elections for Federal office, including to enhance election technology and make election security improvements, as authorized under sections 101, 103, and 104 of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 (P.L. 107-252). Consistent with the requirements of HAVA, states may use this funding to
- Replace voting equipment that only records a voter's intent electronically with equipment that utilizes a voter verified paper record;
- Implement a post-election audit system that provides a high level of confidence in the accuracy of the final vote tally;
- Upgrade election related computer systems to address cyber vulnerabilities identified through Department of Homeland Security, or similar scans or assessments of, existing election systems;
- Facilitate cybersecurity training for the state chief election official's office and local election officials;
- Implement established cybersecurity best practices for election systems; and
- Fund other activities that will improve the security of elections for Federal office.