Rokita Distributes Voting Equipment Funds to Elkhart County

Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz

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

Elkhart County received $448,855 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 Elkhart County Clerk Stephanie Burgess to reimburse the county for the new AccuVote touch screen voting machines that will allow all of Elkhart County's approximately 100,000 voters in all 106 voting precincts to vote without assistance beginning with the 2006 May Primary Election. Elkhart County is switched from punch card ballots to optical scan machines in 2002.

"I'm thrilled to accept these additional reimbursement funds of over $448,000 on behalf of Elkhart County," said Burgess. "After completing the process of receiving proposals, viewing demonstrations, and applying for additional funding, Elkhart County has purchased the required equipment available for use in the primary election which is now 100% paid for with Federal and State Funds. I'm very pleased that the process is now complete and Elkhart County is prepared for future elections.

"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. "Elkhart 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.