Rokita Distributes Voting Equipment Funds to Johnson County

Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz

Indianapolis, IN - Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita today distributed election reform money to Johnson 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.

Johnson County received $550,032 in federal and state money which was distributed by the Secretary of State's office. This brings to $21.7 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 Johnson County Clerk Jill Jackson to reimburse the county for the new Election Systems and Services iVotronic touch screen machines that will be accessible to all of Johnson County's approximately 86,000 voters in all 104 election precincts beginning with the 2006 May Primary Election. Johnson County will switch from punch card ballots similar to those used in Florida in the 2000 election to the new direct record voting machines.

"It's been a long road to get to this point," said Jackson. "Secretary Rokita's office has been extremely helpful throughout this process, and we couldn't be more thankful for their help. Secretary Rokita has followed through on his promise to provide these reimbursements, and it says a lot that he is personally delivering this check. We think our selection of voting machines was a good one because they will allow us to comply with the HAVA law and accommodate our disabled voters in Johnson County. Furthermore, the poll workers love these machines because the results are instantaneous and make Election Night a lot shorter."

"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. "Johnson 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 coming months.