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Tuesday, October 27, 2020 2:01pm

Minnesota court denies voter group’s motion to block $2.3M election grant

A Minnesota district judge has denied a motion from a conservative voter rights group to block a $2.3 million COVID-19 grant from the Center for Tech and Civic Life aimed at funding Minneapolis election efforts.

The city applied for and was approved to receive the COVID-19 Response Grant that will fund election efforts during a pandemic, including absentee ballot assembly and processing equipment, voting sites and ballot drop-off locations, in-person polling places, drop boxes, voter outreach and personal protective equipment (PPE).

“The City’s actions in applying for and accepting the grant and using the grant money to improve all manners of voting in Minneapolis in the 2020 election affect all Minneapolis voters equally. All individual Plaintiffs are Minneapolis voters. Plaintiffs fail to explain how they will be uniquely affected by Minneapolis’s actions,” the decision from Judge Michael J. Davis reads.

Minneapolis voters line up to vote a day ahead of Minnesota's Tuesday primary election at the Minneapolis Election and Voters Services offices. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

Minneapolis voters line up to vote a day ahead of Minnesota’s Tuesday primary election at the Minneapolis Election and Voters Services offices. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

The Minnesota Voters Alliance sought to block the grant, citing the Center for Tech and Civic Life’s status as a progressive organization, saying it “targets urban cities for its private federal election grants to turn out the progressive vote in the urban cities.” Three of the Center’s founders worked for the progressive New Organizing Institute.


The MVA did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fox News.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, donated $250 million to CTCL on Sept. 1.


“Any local election office responsible for….election activities is eligible to apply to CTCL’s COVID-19 Response Grant program; CTCL approves every eligible election department for a grant; and….each election department will receive a minimum award of $5,000,” the decision reads

More than 1,100 jurisdictions across the U.S., with most serving fewer than 25,000 registered voters, have applied for CTCL grants so far, according to the decision.


Of the total $2.3 million CTCL awarded to Minneapolis, $1,816,203 was awarded to expenses related to the general election, and $266,109 was awarded to expenses related to the city’s August primary; $48,900 was awarded for voting sites and drop-off options for the general and primary elections; $3,295 went toward in-person voting places; $82,525 funded ballot drop-offs; $50,000 went toward “outreach and education”; and $30,310 funded PPE.

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