Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Atlantic County election offices get $300,000 in grants
top story

Atlantic County election offices get $300,000 in grants

{{featured_button_text}}

Two election offices in Atlantic County will each get a grant of almost $150,000 from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a nonpartisan nonprofit group, taking some of the burden of paying the extra costs of a mostly vote-by-mail election off of taxpayers’ shoulders.

“We still have many needs regarding a big room,” said Board of Elections Chair Lynn Caterson on Thursday afternoon, soon after learning her office is receiving a grant of $147,182.50.

Word of the grant comes as Atlantic County freeholders are expected to decide whether to spend tens of thousands of dollars to rent a space large enough to accommodate all Board of Elections ballot processing workers, after failing to find free space in a school gym or other large facility.

It would cost about $40,000 to rent enough space for a maximum of about 60 workers to be protected by social distancing, officials have said.

“In addition, the state is requiring a special audit after the election,” Caterson said. The grant will help her office pay for both.

The audit will involve testing a random sampling of ballots in the scanner machine, she said, and will be conducted by county staff along with staff from ES&S, the company providing the scanner.

Atlantic County Superintendent of Elections Maureen Bugdon, whose office is responsible for overseeing the registration process and for overseeing the legality of the election process said her office will use its grant of almost $150,000 to offset expenses of the general election.

Support Local Journalism

Your subscription makes our reporting possible.
{{featured_button_text}}

Counties around the state have incurred additional expenses largely due to an order by Gov. Phil Murphy making the Nov. 3 general elections mostly vote by mail.

That order means Atlantic County alone will need to process and count an estimated 120,000-140,000 ballots.

Both offices applied for the grants earlier in the year. According to its website, the Center for Tech and Civic Life, which supplied the grants, “is a team of civic technologists, trainers, researchers, election administration and data experts working to foster a more informed and engaged democracy, and helping to modernize U.S. elections.”

“We have applied for every grant public and private we can find,” said Caterson.

The Board of Chosen Freeholders has called an emergency meeting for 4 p.m. Tuesday to consider leasing a 12,000-square-foot office in Hamilton Township for about six weeks.

A complication came up Wednesday afternoon, when county representatives and technicians from Verizon and Comcast were looking at the Hamilton Township space to see how quickly it could be fitted with internet and phone access, said Atlantic County Administrator Jerry DelRosso.

“Comcast is still not sure when it can do (internet) installation,” DelRosso said. “And another issue is they want us to pay for two years. We said six months at the most.”

DelRosso said the county is still negotiating with Comcast on that point.

The election workers need to be able to securely access the online State Voter Registration System to process the ballots, officials have said.

Contact: 609-272-7219

mpost@pressofac.com

Twitter @MichelleBPost

Get local news delivered to your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

Related to this story

The best local coverage, unlimited

Sign up for a digital subscription to The Press of Atlantic City now and take advantage of a great offer.

LEARN MORE

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News