Rokita Distributes Voting Equipment Funds to Wabash County

Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz

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

Wabash County received $15,901 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 Wabash County Clerk Lori Draper to reimburse the county for the new Microvote Infinity voting machines that will allow all of Wabash County's approximately 25,000 voters in all 25 election precincts to vote without assistance beginning with the 2006 May Primary Election. Wabash County will switch from an older version of Microvote machines.

"Secretary Rokita's office has been extremely helpful in this long process," said Draper. "We were really quite happy with our older Microvote machines, and our voters know how to use them. When the time came to choose new machines, it made sense to choose the newer version of what we already had."

"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. "Wabash 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.