Clinton Township Clerk Kim Meltzer, right, after informing election inspectors of their extra cash.

Clinton Township Clerk Kim Meltzer, right, after informing election inspectors of their extra cash.

Photo provided by Clinton Township Clerk’s Office

Clinton Township election inspectors awarded grant funds

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published February 24, 2021


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Election inspectors in Clinton Township recently received some extra gratitude, in the form of a couple hundred dollars.

Prior to the Nov. 3, 2020, general election, the nonprofit Center for Tech and Civic Life offered a grant to every Michigan clerk, with the amount for each municipality determined by the organization and able to used by clerks to their benefit.

Benefits of grant monies alluded to multiple causes, including: ballot drop boxes; drive-through voting mechanisms; personal protective equipment for staff, poll workers and/or voters; poll worker recruitment funds, hazard pay and/or training expenses; polling place rental and cleaning expenses; temporary staffing support; election department real estate costs or costs associated with satellite offices; absentee voting equipment or supplies; election administration equipment; and voting materials in languages other than English.

Clinton Township Clerk Kim Meltzer applied for the grant, and her office was awarded $62,288. The grant money did not require a township match, she noted, and no taxpayer funds were used.

However, in preparing for the last election, Meltzer’s office had already budgeted for the initiatives and items provided by said grant — or federal CARES Act dollars were already utilized to pay.

“I could have bought additional voting machines, but tangibles such as these become outdated/obsolete, and I felt would not maximize voting service to our Clinton Township residents,” Meltzer said.

Instead, she wanted to focus on election inspectors — each of whom received $105 per election. Grant money went to each inspector who worked the August and November elections, so that each received an additional $210.

“I felt the election inspectors that worked Election Day, during a pandemic, deserved to be a priority as recipients of the grant,” she said, adding that many expressed gratitude due to the proximity to the holidays.

On Saturday, Jan. 30, election inspectors were invited to the Clinton Township Civic Center to celebrate the extra checks and thank the Center for Tech and Civic Life. A drone was in attendance, capturing an overhead photo of everyone at the scene.

“None of the workers knew this was forthcoming, as I wasn’t sure I would be awarded the grant money,” Meltzer said. “It was an exciting time for me to see their faces when they learned of the additional money in their checks.

“Prioritizing election inspectors not only shows them they are valued, but I think will encourage them to continue to work as election inspectors in future elections, thus helping to alleviate one of the most challenging parts of executing elections: securing experienced election inspectors.”