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County approves Center for Tech and Civic Life Covid-19 response grant

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat
Grayson County Elections Administrator Deana Patterson addresses county commissioners Tuesday at the Grayson County Courthouse in Sherman.

Grayson County commissioners seemed to take a ’why not’ approach Tuesday to county Elections Administrator Deana Patterson’s request for approval to seek funds from the Center for Tech and Civic Life Covid-19 Response Grant.

Patterson said she was just asking for permission to submit a grant proposal.

The information about the grant received by her office noted that the minimum award is $5,000, and the grant does not require a county match. She said the funds, should the county be approved, can be used for Election Day administration, voter education and outreach efforts, poll worker training an safety efforts and to support early voting in-person and vote by mail.

The website influencewatch.org said that Center for Tech and Civic Life is a “Chicago, Illinois-based center-left election reform advocacy group formed in 2012.”

The site also said, “The goal of the organization at its founding was to use data to streamline election administration and increase turnout in American elections. The organization has several programs and initiatives focused on election data and outreach to local election officials.”

Patterson said the county should have the money in hand within about two weeks after being notified of the approval.

Grayson County Judge Bill Magers asked if it was the kind of grant where the county would have to spend the money first and then wait to be reimbursed and Patterson said it is not.

“We do have to file a report (about how the money was spent),” she said.

“It’s a non profit that’s been designed just to assist with various causes,” Patterson told Commissioner Jeff Whitmire when he asked about the organization.

“The bottom-line, just so we are clear is there is no cost the county of Grayson. It is a 100 percent grant and it is designed to help off set some of the expenses from (the election),” Magers said.

Commissioner Bart Lawrence moved that Patterson be allowed to apply for the grant by saying, “You can’t catch a fish unless you’ve got a line in the water.”

Commissioner David Whitlock seconded that motion. No one voted against it.