Rokita Submits Election Plan to Federal Government
Contact: Cam Savage
Indiana Now Eligible for Voting Machine Reimbursement Funding
Indianapolis, IN - Today Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita submitted the Indiana State Election Plan to the Federal Election Assistance Commission, paving the way for Indiana to receive up to $58 million dollars in federal funding to replace outdated voting equipment and improve election administration.
"Once approved the State Election plan will serve as the framework for implementing landmark voting reforms in Indiana and reimbursing counties for voting machine purchases," Rokita said.
The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, promises federal funding for states to implement a number of election reforms.
Indiana has already received initial payments totaling $15,000,000 from the federal government to improve election administration and reimburse counties for voting machine purchases. Rokita estimates that Indiana could receive more than $58,000,000 in federal dollars over the next several years, depending on funding levels approved by Congress.
Secretary Rokita, who has been working with county clerks, commissioners and council members to prepare for the implementation of these reforms, encouraged county officials to immediately begin the process of applying to the state for funding.
"Given the financial and budgetary concerns local governments are experiencing today, it is vital that we distribute these federal dollars to counties as soon as possible," Rokita said. "I will continue to work closely with local officials to find the best solutions for implementing HAVA by addressing every concern on a county by county basis."
The Indiana State Election Plan is the work product of the Vote Indiana Team, a diverse group of Hoosiers chaired by Secretary Rokita. The Vote Indiana Team consists of members from across the state who represent three political parties, the state legislature, minority groups, military voters, people with disabilities, county election and voter registration officials, and the media.
"The members of the Vote Indiana Team should be congratulated for producing such a thorough plan," Rokita said. "I am particularly pleased at the level of participation by Hoosiers in creating this plan through the public comment process. With twenty-nine group sessions, all open to the public, and a six-week public comment period, all Hoosiers were able to participate in this important project, and many did."
The Indiana State Election Plan addresses each of the following reform issues.
- How Indiana will use federal funds to comply with HAVA's requirements concerning voting systems, the statewide voter registration system, and provisional voting.
- How Indiana will distribute (and monitor the distribution of) federal funds to local governments and other fund recipients, including the criteria to determine eligibility and to monitor performance.
- How Indiana will provide voter education and training programs for election officials and poll workers.
- How Indiana will adopt voting system standards consistent with HAVA.
- How Indiana will establish a fund for administering these federal payments and how the Indiana fund will be managed.
- Indiana's proposed budget to carry out the activities required to receive federal funds.
- How Indiana, in using these federal funds, will maintain a level of state expenditures at least equal to Indiana's expenditures for these activities during the July 1, 1999 - June 30, 2000 fiscal year.
- How Indiana will adopt performance measures to determine the success of state and local government in carrying out the Plan, including timetables, a description of the criteria to measure performance, and which official is responsible for meeting the requirements.
- A description of the required "uniform nondiscriminatory State grievance procedure" for HAVA-related complaints.
- If Indiana received additional federal money from another source, how this money will be used to carry out activities under the State Plan.
- How Indiana will conduct ongoing management of the HAVA State Plan.
- How the State Plan reflects changes from the State Plan for previous fiscal years.
- A description of the State Plan Committee and the procedures used by the Committee to develop the Plan.
The Indiana State Election Plan is available for review on Secretary Rokita's website at http://www.sos.in.gov/.