Millions in federal funds sit untouched

January 21, 2012 6:54:13 AM PST
There is almost $4 million in federal funds designated to the state's elections, but it is sitting in a bank untouched.

In order to receive the money from the Help America Vote Act, the state would have to pay about $670,000. So far, the state legislature has not signed off on the spending.

An election watchdog group claims that money would go a long way during elections.

"It's being pennywise and pound foolish not to put up $600,000 to get the $4 million," Bob Hall with the non-profit Democracy North Carolina said.

In November, the State Board of Elections sent Republican leaders in both the house and the senate an email explaining the spending that would be involved in order to get the federal funds.

Months later, no state money has been allocated and the money remains frozen.

Hall said that money would help election preparations, maintain voting machines, and run the elections. If the state does not use that money to its advantage, Hall said it could end up costing tax payers.

"If we don't have that way to take the pressure off election day, we'll have to have more precincts.  We'll have to have more machines, more staffing on election day," Hall said.

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