Commissioners to consider elections grant request

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat
Grayson County Elections Administrator Deana Patterson addresses Grayson County commissioners in this file photo from June.

At their first meeting after the Fourth of July break, Grayson County commissioners will consider approving for submission a grant request under the Help America Vote Act which could bring up to $120,000 dollars to the county to help provide additional security for the voting process in the November election.

Commissioners will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Grayson County Courthouse in Sherman.

Grayson County Voter Administrator Deana Patterson's notice about the grant request in the commissioner's court meeting agenda packet says the county would have to put up $16,000 cash match if the grant is approved. She noted that she already has the needed cash match in her budget.

The grant application required counties to spell out how they plan to use the funds.

Under the heading Voting Equipment, Patterson said Grayson County's ExpressVote machines and DS200 Scanners are HAVA-compliant so it will be using the funds to purchase "some additional ballot boxes that are compatible with the scanners to be prepared for the security required in keeping all voted ballots locked in containers for 60 days after an election."

Under the heading of Election Auditing, Patterson wrote, "The funding will cover all costs anticipated in performing the manual hand count of voted ballots that is required after each election thru the end of 2021."

Under the heading of Voter Registration Systems, Patterson wrote, "Grayson County uses Votec equipment for our e-poll books. We use Vemacs for our voter registration system. The poll books and the server need to be upgraded due to certification standards, primarily all laptops had Windows 7. Upgraded e-poll books and a server will be purchased with these funds. We also have laptops in our office that are used for training for volunteer deputy registrars, worker training and other tasks directly related to elections that will have to be replaced due to upgrades needed to Windows 10; those will be purchased."

Under the heading of Cyber Security, Patterson said, "Grayson County has completed the Security Assessment and are waiting on the final report. We know that we are going to need some updated locks into some areas of the building and cabinets that lock and those items along with any other recommended remediation items will be purchased with the funding."

She also noted that the county will be using some of the money to pay for advertising expenses to help get the word out about the security provided for the election in the months leading up to it.

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