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Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz
Indianapolis, IN - As the deadline of January 1, 2006 for implementing Indiana's first statewide list of registered voters nears, the Secretary of State's office today begins offering monthly updates regarding the status of implementation of the Indiana Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS), or FirstTuesday, created by Quest Information Systems.
Started more than two years ago as an initiative by Indiana election administrators and legislators, and then as part of Indiana's implementation of the federal Help America Vote Act , the project will be completed in six months. In May, a pilot version of the new system was implemented in the ten counties selected from over forty who volunteered to serve as pilot counties. The pilot counties are Benton, Fayette, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Rush, Spencer and Wayne. All pilot counties are now using the system to add voters and maintain voter registration records through FirstTuesday
Voter registration officials in the pilot counties have already spent many hours working to understand how the system software works, to test the system to make certain the system functions properly, and to be sure the county's existing voter registration data is correctly "converted" when moved to the new system. To ensure that Indiana's new system undergoes the most rigorous testing possible, testing will be carried out on four different levels. Quest, the State team, and the pilot counties are currently testing the system to identify and resolve any outstanding issues. Voter registration officials in the other 82 counties will make their contribution to the testing process when the system goes live in their respective counties.
Many county voter registration officials have already made valuable contributions to the success of the project by identifying system features that can be improved or which need adjustments to work correctly and efficiently; the most significant of these relates to automatic precinct assignment by the SVRS using geographic information system technology. "Indiana's Statewide Voter Registration System has been recognized as a success at a national level," said Secretary of State Todd Rokita, who recently was asked to present Indiana's SVRS to Congressional staff members in Washington, D.C. "We're proud that while other states' election officials are suing each other over the implementation of a statewide system, we're meeting, talking, and working through any wrinkles that may arise together so Indiana can be proud of its new statewide voter registration system."