At a special meeting of the Philadelphia City Commissioners, Chairwoman Lisa Deeley proposed a motion to approve the grant agreement between the city and the nonpartisan, nonprofit Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL). This will allow Philadelphia to receive a $10 million grant to help run a safe, smooth, and secure election this fall in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I would like to thank all of our dedicated staff who worked tirelessly to prepare this grant proposal and especially the Center for Tech and Civic Life for this generous opportunity,” City Commissioner Chairwoman Lisa Deeley, whose office spearheaded the grant submission, said. “This grant will help us give the voters of Philadelphia the safe, smooth, and secure election that they deserve. …additionally, we will have the opportunity to set up a considerable number of satellite election offices throughout the city, and recruit and train an adequate, realistic number of poll workers, along with the ability to provide these essential Election Day board workers with ample PPE.”
“Philadelphia’s City Commissioners and other election departments throughout the country are facing unprecedented challenges this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic in administering safe and secure elections that provide healthy voting options to the public,” Tiana Epps-Johnson, Center for Tech and Civic Life executive director, said. “To meet this challenge, CTCL is providing support to the Philadelphia City Commissioners Office through our COVID-19 Response Grants Program so no voter is required to make a choice between their health and their ability to vote.”
“From ensuring that polling places are open and following the latest public health guidelines, to providing options for voters to easily and securely return ballots, to making certain that the incredible people who step up to serve as poll workers are protected and well compensated for their service, we’re proud to partner with the City of Philadelphia to deliver a smooth voting process that ensures confidence,” Epps-Johnson said.
The grant will provide funding to the City of Philadelphia to support the following:
• Upgrade equipment for processing applications and ballots and more timely reporting;
• 17 satellite elections offices for in-person on-demand mail-in voting;
• Obtaining and distributing PPE, training, and other support to ensure safe and accessible polling places on election day;
• Support for drop boxes and relevant security needs;
• Printing and postage costs to inform and educate voters about options for voting.
“Voting is one of the most important things U.S. citizens can do,” Mayor Jim Kenney said. “Our city benefits when everyone makes their voice heard. We are working closely with the City Commissioners to make sure the election is safe and secure, and that Philadelphia voters know what voting options are available to them.”
“Together we can ensure that every eligible voter in Philadelphia is able to cast their vote,” Kenney continued. “November 3 will be here before we know it, we encourage residents to register to vote, and make a plan now, whether voting by mail or in person.”
The Center for Tech and Civic Life is a nationally recognized, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of civic technologists, trainers, researchers, election administration and data experts working to help modernize U.S. elections. CTCL connects election officials with guidance, expertise, tools, and training so they can best serve their communities, and ensure that elections are more professional, safe, and secure. For more information, visit: (www.techandciviclife.org/)
Further votes on individual parts of the election plan will take place in the future.
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