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Saginaw receives $400,000 grant to enhance coronavirus safety measures for November election

The grant comes from the nonpartisan Center for Tech and Civic Life through its COVID-19 Response Grants Program.
Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 6:49 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WJRT) -As people get ready to cast their ballots in the November election, the city of Saginaw is looking to reassure voters that when they show up to the polls, they will do so with extra safety measures in place, thanks to a new $400,000 grant awarded to the city,

“We are very excited at the city for the grant,” said Saginaw City Clerk, Janet Santos.

The grant comes from the nonpartisan Center for Tech and Civic Life through its COVID-19 Response Grants Program.

Saginaw City Clerk Janet Santos said the money will used in a number of ways in response to the pandemic.

“We are obtaining new voting booths out in the precincts that offer the safety and compliance and social distancing standards,” Santos said “This money will add additional drop boxes, the ballot drop boxes within the city and not just at city hall.”

“We are able to offer hazard pay consideration. So we want to make sure they are safe and we have enough workers, that we are paying additional amounts on top of our regular fee that we pay our election workers,” she said.

Money from the grant will also be used to extend hours at the city clerk’s office.

“We will remain open until 7pm. And that will begin on Wednesday October 14th for the 3 weeks up to the election,” Santos said.

Santos said they also recognize that even with all these extra safety measures in place-- many people may still not feel comfortable voting in person-- that’s why some of the grant money will go towards absentee ballot processing.

“What that will enable us to do is to buy additional equipment the absentee counting board to count the absentee ballots in a timely manner,” Santos said.

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