EVART -- The Evart city council approved a motion to accept a $5,000 grant from the Center for Tech and Civic Life at its meeting Oct. 5.

According to the grant award paperwork, the grant funds must be used exclusively for the purpose of ensuring a safe and secure 2020 election.

Evart city clerk Kathy Fiebig told the council the funds would be used to support city staff efforts to ensure residents were able to vote safely and securely.

"In the August election, to address the COIVD-19 concerns, we were able to leave the doors open," Fiebig said. "In November, we won't be able to do that, so what I would like to do is put in plex-glass shields between the voter stations. That will allow me to cluster them closer together and add a couple more stations."

Fiebig said the funds would also be used to place sneeze guards in front of all the election inspectors and purchase new security sleeves for the ballots.

"The old sleeves are cardboard and after being wiped down after every use, they began to get mushy," she said. "The new ones are plastic, so they will wipe down more easily and they are easier to feed into the tabulator."

In addition, she said she would like to increase the elections inspectors' pay and hire a designated cleaning person to keep all the areas wiped down throughout the day.

"We tried to do that ourselves during the August election, but every time we had a rush, it became difficult to keep up," Fiebig said. "Every pen, every sleeve, every table and every poling station needs to be disinfected between every voter. I would like to have a designated cleaning person to do that."

Dvoracek told the council the funds would be used to ensure a safe and efficient election day administration, which would include maintaining open, in-person polling places on election day, providing personal protective equipment and disinfectant for elections workers and expanding the drive through voting.

According to Dvoracek, the funds will also be used to expand voter education and outreach to educate voters on voting policies and procedures and to recruit and hire additional poll workers.

Anyone interested in becoming a poll worker may contact city officials at (231) 734-2181.

The general election is Nov. 3.

Evart residents will be voting for Mayor, city clerk, two city council seats and three school board seats, along with the state and federal government representation and the President of the United States.

Mayor John Joyce said he would encourage everyone to get out and vote.