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Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz
Indianapolis, IN - Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita today distributed election reform money to Switzerland 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.
Switzerland County received $44,592 in federal and state money which was distributed by the Secretary of State's office. This latest round of reimbursements brings to $30.3 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 Switzerland County Clerk Ginger Peters to reimburse the county for the new Accuvote touch screen voting machines that will allow all of Switzerland County's approximately 7,000 voters in all 12 election precincts to vote without assistance beginning with the 2006 May Primary Election. Switzerland County already uses HAVA compliant optical scan voting machines.
"Secretary Rokita's office has been extremely helpful in this long process," said Peters. "We have had our optical scan machines for quite some time here in Switzerland County, and now we have additional machines available to our disabled community if they so chose."
"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. "Switzerland 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 are still eligible for additional funding.