Secretary Rokita Elected to National Leadership Position on Executive Board of Election Standards Group

Contact: Heather Willis

Washington, D.C. - Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita was elected yesterday to serve on the national nine-member Executive Board of the Federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Standards Board. The Standards Board, created by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), is a bi-partisan 110-member group composed of state and local election officials from around the country. Secretary Rokita serves along with Democratic LaPorte County Circuit Court Clerk Lynne Spevak as Indiana’s two members to the EAC Standards Board.

The Standards Board is charged with assisting the Election Assistance Commission in reviewing voting systems guidelines and best practices recommendations for facilitating military and overseas voting. The nine-member Executive Board is composed of five state election officials and five local election officials from around the country.

“I am honored to be elected by fellow election officials to serve in this leadership capacity, and I look forward to continuing to work with election officials from around the nation to address important election reform issues. Indiana continues to be an example for the nation, from our Military and Overseas Voter Guide to our accessibility surveys in 2004, both of which received national attention,” said Rokita. “I look forward to the opportunity for sharing Indiana’s successes with the rest of the country and continuing to improve elections here at home.”

HAVA requires, among other things, the replacement of all punch card and lever voting machines, the creation of one single, statewide voter registration system, and the provision of polling places that are accessible to the disabled, including at least one disabled accessible voting machine in each polling place by 2006. In addition, it further attempts to facilitate voting for military and overseas voters, who face additional obstacles to voting.

The Indiana Secretary of State’s Office has distributed to date approximately $17 million in voting systems reimbursements to Indiana counties for replacing outdated voting equipment. Indiana has recently received recognition for developing an extensive Military and Overseas Voter Guide, which was named as a best practice by both the Federal Voting Assistance Program and the Election Assistance Commission. To help county officials provide accessible polling places, the Secretary of State’s office, in conjunction with the Governor’s Planning Council for People with Disabilities, conducted a survey of all polling places in the state during the 2004 elections and provided the resulting information to the counties, a process which also received national attention.