Brennan Center Files FOIA Requests with EAC Seeking State Election Security HAVA Funding Documents, EAC Communications on Grant Spending

On May 14, 2018, the Brennan Center for Justice filed two Freedom of Information Act requests with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, seeking communications and documents relating to the 2018 Omnibus Act’s provision of Help America Vote Act funds to states for election security.

May 15, 2018
On March 23, 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (the “Omnibus Act”). The EAC was one among the various federal government agencies allocated funds under the Omnibus Act, which directed the EAC to use the money to assist election reform programs nationwide. Specifically, the EAC received $380 million “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 provided for under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).
 
States have already begun to return the signed grant documents, certifications, and assurances, as well as their funding documents to the EAC. Yet, the EAC has not made that information publicly available.  The Brennan Center requested documents and communications between EAC and the states regarding this HAVA election security funding, documents and communications in the EAC’s possession on how states may spend the funding, and communications relating to the intermittent removal of Congress’s explanatory statement from the EAC’s website.
 

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