Philadelphia City Commissioners’ Chairwoman Lisa Deeley to Propose Motion to Accept $10 Million Grant to Conduct Safe Election This Fall

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Funds will help Philadelphia run a safe, smooth, and secure election in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Philadelphia, PA – At a special meeting of the Philadelphia City Commissioners tomorrow, Chairwoman Lisa Deeley will propose a motion to approve the grant agreement between the city and the nonpartisan, nonprofit Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL). This will allow Philadelphia to receive a $10 million grant to help run a safe, smooth, and secure election this fall in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

City Commissioner Chairwoman, Lisa Deeley, whose office spearheaded the grant submission, said, "I would like to thank all of our dedicated staff who worked tirelessly to prepare this grant proposal and especially the Center for Tech and Civic Life for this generous opportunity. This grant will help us give the voters of Philadelphia the safe, smooth, and secure election that they deserve."

“If approved, we will be able to move forward in implementing plans to process applications and ballots more quickly, and we will be able to open a sufficient number of polling places throughout the city. Additionally, we will have the opportunity to set up a considerable number of satellite election offices throughout the city, and recruit and train an adequate, realistic number of poll workers, along with the ability to provide these essential Election Day board workers with ample PPE," she said.

“Philadelphia's City Commissioners and other election departments throughout the country are facing unprecedented challenges this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic in administering safe and secure elections that provide healthy voting options to the public,” said Center for Tech and Civic Life Executive Director Tiana Epps-Johnson.

“To meet this challenge, CTCL is providing support to the Philadelphia City Commissioners Office through our COVID-19 Response Grants Program so no voter is required to make a choice between their health and their ability to vote. From ensuring that polling places are open and following the latest public health guidelines, to providing options for voters to easily and securely return ballots, to making certain that the incredible people who step up to serve as poll workers are protected and well compensated for their service, we’re proud to partner with the City of Philadelphia to deliver a smooth voting process that ensures confidence," Ms. Epps-Johnson said.

The grant will provide funding to the City of Philadelphia to support the following:

  • Upgrade equipment for processing applications and ballots and more timely reporting
  • 17 satellite elections offices for in-person on-demand mail-in voting
  • Obtaining and distributing PPE, training, and other support to ensure safe and accessible polling places on election day
  • Support for drop boxes and relevant security needs
  • Printing and postage costs to inform and educate voters about options for voting

“Voting is one of the most important things U.S. citizens can do.” said Mayor Jim Kenney “Our city benefits when everyone makes their voice heard. We are working closely with the City Commissioners to make sure the election is safe and secure, and that Philadelphia voters know what voting options are available to them. Together we can ensure that every eligible voter in Philadelphia is able to cast their vote. November 3 will be here before we know it, we encourage residents to register to vote, and make a plan now, whether voting by mail or in person.”

The Center for Tech and Civic Life is a nationally recognized, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of civic technologists, trainers, researchers, election administration and data experts working to help modernize U.S. elections. CTCL connects election officials with guidance, expertise, tools, and training so they can best serve their communities, and ensure that elections are more professional, safe, and secure. CTCL works with the federal government, as well as local and state governments of all sizes across the nation, and regardless of partisanship, to highlight best practices, create easy-to-use resources for administrators, and develop infrastructure to better operate elections. (

Further votes on individual parts of the election plan will take place in the future.