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Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz
Indianapolis, IN - Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita today distributed election reform money to Allen County. This was part of the latest round of funding Rokita's office is giving to counties from the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002.
Allen County received $1,234,000 in federal and state money which was distributed by the Secretary of State's office. This latest round of reimbursements brings to $29.9 million the total distributed under HAVA to Indiana counties since Rokita's office began distributing funds to help pay for voting equipment upgrades resulting from the required phase-out of lever and punch card voting machines.
Rokita personally met with Allen County Clerk Therese Brown and Director of Election Pam Finlayson to reimburse the county for the new Microvote Infinity voting machines that will allow all of Allen County's approximately 230,000 voters in all 299 election precincts to vote without assistance beginning with the 2006 May Primary Election. Allen County will switch from an older version of Microvote machines that they have been using since 1988.
"We are extremely excited about receiving this money," said Brown. "We truly appreciate the time, effort, and energy Secretary Rokita's office put into streamlining this effort in order to ensure that Allen County's disabled community has the ability to vote without assistance for the first time."
"The Secretary of State's office has approached this really complex process in an organized and efficient manner and made just about as simple as it could be," said Finlayson. "We looked at all the machine vendors approved in Indiana, and the Election Board unanimously chose to stay with Microvote's system because they offered all the features we needed here in Allen County and our voters are comfortable using it."
"It is great to see federal and state money being put to good use to help ensure fair and efficient elections for Hoosiers," Rokita said. "Allen County can now focus on other election matters."
Congress passed HAVA in response to issues in various parts of the country during the 2000 Presidential Election. HAVA requires states and counties to replace all punch card and lever machine voting systems by January 1, 2006. A number of Indiana counties will be eligible for additional funding in the remaining days before the deadline.