Wicomico Scores Election Grant

SALISBURY – A $67,000 grant is expected to help the Wicomico County Board of Elections as it prepares for the November general election.

Last week, the Wicomico County Council voted to accept a grant award from the Center for Tech and Civic Life – a Chicago-based nonprofit – in the amount of $67,158. Officials said the funds will be used for the 2020 general election.

“The grant funds are to be used for the planning and operation of a safe and secure election in Wicomico County,” Council Administrator Laura Hurley said.

The county election board can use the funds for things like ballot drop boxes, personal protective equipment, cleaning expenses and temporary staffing, and the grant would not require matching county funds. However, Councilman Joe Holloway questioned if the county would need to provide any election information in return.

“Is there any obligation to furnish these individuals that are giving this grant any election data from Wicomico County?” he asked.

Dionne Church, Wicomico County Board of Elections deputy director, said her department had provided the number of registered voters and county finance information in its grant application. But she noted the election board was not obligated to provide any additional voter information.

“The only obligation I have to do at the end is report back what we used the grant money for and how much we used,” she replied.

With no further discussion, the council voted 6-0, with Councilwoman Nicole Acle absent, to accept the grant award.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.