Statewide Voter Registration System Update

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 continues to offer 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 of 2002, the project will be completed and the new system completely implemented by the end of the year. 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

As of last week, "first wave" counties have joined the pilot counties in using SVRS. First wave counties now using the system include Bartholomew, Jennings, Johnson and Shelby. By the end of this month at least six more second wave counties (Clay, Knox, Park, Sullivan, Vermillion, and Vigo) will also begin using FirstTuesday , bringing the total number of online counties to twenty.

Beginning this week, the SVRS County Coordination Team will begin a survey during which counties who have recently begun using FirstTuesday will be interviewed concerning the training, support and overall comments regarding the new system. County officials using the system will also be asked about the success of the new program and whether they find it better than their previous systems.

The surveys reflect the efforts of Secretary Rokita and the Election Division Co-Directors to gather as much information as possible during the transition to the new software and to ensure the lines of communication remain open throughout the process. Furthermore, the surveys will be used as a tool to make sure the service and support offered to new counties joining SVRS are consistent with the highly regarded help given to the pilot counties.

"We ask the counties to provide candid and thorough information about the education and implementation processes of the Statewide Voter Registration System," Rokita said. "What we gather from these surveys will be crucial in the ongoing process of guaranteeing counties receive the highest level training and support possible."

In other news, Quest has identified 4,811,154 registered voters pulled from the existing county-based systems from all 92 counties. To date, Quest has prepared almost 2 million of those records for use within the SVRS. This month, the state project team has begun a random auditing of this process.