Secretary Rokita to Present on Provisional Balloting

Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz

Indianapolis, IN - Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita will provide an overview of Indiana's provisional ballot process to his colleagues from around the state as he attends the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Summer Conference in St. Paul, Minnesota this weekend. The conference brings together Secretaries of State from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and territories for a meeting of the nation's oldest professional, non-partisan organization of public officials. Rokita, who serves on the Standing Committee on Elections, will present Indiana's successful provisional balloting process, which is regarded as a national model, to other Secretaries of State who serve as chief election officers of their respective states.

In June, Rokita presented on provisional balloting at the Helping America Vote Summit on Election Reform in San Diego, California. Indiana's provisional balloting process allows a voter to cast a vote if the individual believes she is registered to vote in a precinct but her name does not appear on the precinct's poll list or if the voter is challenged as not being qualified to vote in that particular precinct. The provisional ballot is kept separate from other ballots, and a bi-partisan election board decides whether the voter was qualified and whether the ballot should be counted. Implemented in the wake of the 2000 election, the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) made provisional voting the law of the land.

"Provisional voting supports our goal as election administrators," Rokita said. "Yes, every vote is important, but no voter is more important than any other voter. We should encourage both equal treatment and equal responsibility for all voters, and precinct-based provisional balloting is a means to that end."

Secretary Rokita will also attend meetings focused on the HAVA implementation practices among the states as well as committee meetings for Business Services and Securities - for which Rokita serves as vice-chairman.