The U.S. government is making sure that the November elections would push through despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the newly-enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, $400 million has been included as part of the Help America Vote Act emergency funds, to help augment preparations for the elections, while the country is in the middle of the coronavirus threat.
This is also to ensure the safety of both voters and election workers.
According to Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP), the CNMI will receive over half a million dollars to help make elections happen on the islands this November.
“The Commonwealth will receive an estimated $600,000 of CARES Act funding to ensure the Nov. 3 federal election in the Marianas goes on, despite the coronavirus crisis,” Sablan said. “Nationwide, the money can be used to implement vote-by-mail for all voters and to increase the availability of online registration and early voting, where that is not now offered. The grant can also increase voting sites to reduce crowding and keep in-person voters healthy.”
There will also be no local matching funds required.
“COVID-19 has already led to the postponement of primary elections in some parts of the country…and a natural disaster in 2018, Super Typhoon Yutu, led to the delay of the general federal election in the Marianas, a first in modern U.S. history. We need to ensure that our democracy survives intact, even as the coronavirus disrupts so many other aspects of normal life,” Sablan said.
According to the delegate, the Federal Election Assistance Commission is required to distribute the CARES Act election security grants by April 26.