The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 provided $380 million to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), as authorized under Title I Section 1010 of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 (P.L. 107-252), to make grant payments to states. The funds were signed into law on March 23, 2018 by President Trump and more than $6.6 million in HAVA funds were allocated to Minnesota. States are required to match 5 percent of the funds awarded within two years of receiving federal funds – states can spend HAVA funds prior to completing the match requirement.
As of February 2019, Minnesota remains the only state in the U.S. that hasn’t accepted the voting security money. Minnesota is one of several states that requires its legislature to sign off on any federal appropriations, and measures to allow Minnesota to access federal HAVA funds were tied up in a broad spending package that Governor Mark Dayton vetoed in 2018 (see Minn. Laws Chapter 201).
The working group has submitted a list of 20 specific proposals to enhance the security and accessibility of Minnesota's elections systems, including hiring a cyber-navigator to work with cities and counties on election cybersecurity issues; disbursing sub grants to local governments for security enhancements; and securing information sharing networks between the Office of the Secretary of State and cities and counties.
Minnesota House File 14, Help America Vote Act money transferred and appropriated, is the legislation currently carrying the recommendations of the working group.