Rep. Michael Nelson
Minnesota House of Representatives
RELEASE: Minnesota House Approves Help America Vote Act Funding
ST. PAUL, MN – Today, Rep. Michael Nelson (DFL – Brooklyn Park) released the following statement after the Minnesota House of Representatives voted to appropriate federal funds under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Minnesota is increasingly more likely to see attacks on our election systems, and the legislation (H.F.14) would unlock $6.6 million in federal funding to support state efforts in securing election infrastructure against cyber threats.
“It’s no secret that our elections have been targeted by bad actors,” said Rep. Michael Nelson. “While Minnesota isn’t last on many lists, we are in fact the very last state to appropriate this money. It’s time for us to take seriously the threats against our democracy by passing the Help America Vote Act so Minnesotans can more easily participate in safe, secure elections.”
In March of 2018, the federal government appropriated $380 million in grants. Each state was allocated a share of the grant money. $6.6 million was designated for Minnesota. The grant is available in the state’s HAVA account, but the Secretary of State cannot use the funds unless they are directly appropriated by the Legislature.
The funds would go toward modernizing the statewide voter registration system, improving accessibility, training local election officials, and implementing security improvements for election systems.