End of HAVA Sec. 261 grants program comes a bit sooner than planned
Reporting issues force HHS to change, then extend project period for FY11

By M. Mindy Moretti

Earlier this year, just as state and local elections officials were dotting all their Is and crossing all their Ts for the 2016 election season, states received some unwelcome news from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The grant project period for grants available through Sec. 261 of the Help America Vote Act was set to end June 30 instead of September 30 as it had in the early years of the grant program. Although states have had five years to use and report on these funds, the changed deadline was cause for concern.

For states, the problem is twofold. Not only was the deadline moving up by several months, there were also issues with ACL’s reporting system that began in 2015 which caused as many as 22 states to have their grant funds — about $3 million — be returned to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Once those funds go back to Treasury, they are inaccessible by the grantee and grantor. Read More…