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Congress Appropriates $400 Million to Prepare States for Election Day amid Coronavirus Concerns


Monday, March 30, 2020 – MONTGOMERY – After days of intense debate and negotiation, the White House and Congressional leaders have reached a historic $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus deal. Of this relief package, $400 million will be allocated to the states to protect the opportunity for Americans to participate in the electoral process.

Alabama will receive $6,473,612, which will be matched 20% by the Secretary of State’s Office ($1,294,722) for a total of $7,768,334. This funding will be available for both the Primary Runoff Election on July 14 as well as the General Election on November 3. An application for county commissions to request reimbursement will be provided on the official website of the Alabama Secretary of State as soon as money is made available to the states.

Our intentions are to use this funding to reimburse counties for various preparation and election expenses including, but not limited to, masks, gloves, disinfectant spray, hand-sanitizer, alcohol wipes, and professional cleaning services to return the polling places back to their safe and sanitary pre-election condition.

Further, $900,000 will be allocated to reimburse Absentee Election Managers for increased costs resulting from the lengthened absentee voting period, and $1,000,000 will be used to compensate poll workers with an additional $25.00 on Election Day.

“I am extremely grateful for the leadership displayed by Senator Mitch McConnell and Senator Richard Shelby and for their listening to the concerns I expressed as well as the advice and guidance provided by other chief election officials from across the country. It is important that those at the state and local level are granted the flexibility to address the needs of their respective communities,” stated Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill. “This funding will protect the health and safety of our voters, poll workers, and others involved in the electoral process.”

"I also appreciate the assistance provided by Governor Kay Ivey's Office, the State Comptroller's Office, and the Association of County Commissions of Alabama," continued Merrill.

Reports of state spending will be submitted to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission for complete transparency and public inspection. All resources must be expended for these purposes no later than December 31, 2020.