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DeKalb County has received nearly $9.4 million in grants to conduct elections

campaign coverage Metro ATL

DeKalb County has received nearly $9.4 million in grants to conduct elections

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Carol Calvert holds a sign during a ‘Get out the Vote’ rally hosted by the Avondale Alliance for Racial Justice in Avondale Estates on September 19, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.
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DeKalb County, GA — DeKalb County has received another large grant from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, bringing that group’s total investment in our local elections to $9.4 million.

Early voting in the Jan. 5 runoff elections already is underway.

“DeKalb County has received an additional $4.6 million grant from the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), marking the second major award granted to the county’s elections office,” the county announced. “The grant will help fund temporary staffing, personal protective equipment (PPE), election-related equipment, educational collateral development and other items to enhance the voting experience and expand resources available to the department.”

The county received a $4.8 million CTCL grant back in October. The new grant funding will pay for the purchase of additional equipment and the creation and translation of various election-related materials to Korean and Spanish, which would make DeKalb County one of the first counties to do this outside of federal requirements.

“This is another win for DeKalb County as we launch our early voting locations, prepare for large numbers of absentee ballots and host the runoff elections on Jan. 5,” DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond said in a press release. “After a historic number of absentee and early voters in November, we are preparing ourselves for a record turnout for this runoff election. The entire world will be watching Georgia and I am confident DeKalb County will rise to the occasion.”

DeKalb Commissioner Larry Johnson led the effort to get the initial grant.

“We want to bring government closer to the people we serve,” Johnson said in the press release. “We understand that in a county as diverse as DeKalb, we have to be intentional about our efforts to engage and educate all voters.”

The grant also will allow the DeKalb County Board of Voter Registration and Election to increase cleaning of its facilities and onsite supplies.

“With more than 2,000 workers scheduled to support the entire runoff election, this grant will provide critical funding to make sure we have a safe, secure and worry-free election for all voters,” Erica Hamilton, director of DeKalb Voter Registration and Elections, said in the press release. “This grant is instrumental as we anticipate a high-volume turnout for advance and absentee voting while still offering 190 location for people to cast their ballots on Election Day.”

The Center for Tech and Civic Life is a nonpartisan nonprofit that connects elections officials with technology to better communicate with voters and increase civic engagement, according to the press release from the county.

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