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Assessment of Electronic Absentee System for Elections (EASE) Grants

DODIG-2015-135

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Objective

We conducted this assessment in response to a June 2014 congressional request from the Chairman and Ranking Member, Military Personnel Subcommittee, House Armed Service Committee.

Our objective was to determine whether recipients of Electronic Absentee System for Elections (EASE) 2.0 grants inappropriately used grant funds to develop systems for the electronic return of a marked ballot.  Additionally, we determined how the DoD Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) office accounted for approximately $85 million in Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) funds received between 2009 and 2013. 

Observations

We reviewed EASE 2.0 grants to determine whether grant recipients used the EASE 2.0 grant funds to develop systems that could return a marked ballot via electronic transmission.  During our assessment, we did not identify any indicators that EASE 2.0 grant funds were used inappropriately in regards to developing systems that could return a marked ballot electronically. 

Additionally, we reviewed how FVAP accounted for approximately $85.7 million in RDT&E funds requested between FY 2010 and FY 2013.  No RDT&E funds were requested for FY 2009.  FVAP used these RDT&E funds to execute the EASE and EASE 2.0 grant programs, as well as approximately 10 other RDT&E-funded projects to support FVAP’s mission of providing support to military and overseas voters.

Since we did not identify any instances of inappropriate use of grant funds and FVAP was able to demonstrate how they accounted for RDT&E funds received between 2010 and 2013, this report does not make any recommendations.

Management Comments

We provided a discussion draft to FVAP and select EASE 2.0 grant recipients.  We considered management comments to a discussion draft of this report when preparing the final report.  

This report is a result of Project No. D2015-D00SPO-0045.000.