Rokita Distributes Voting Equipment Funds to Vermillion County

Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz

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

Vermillion County received $101,626 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 Vermillion County Clerk Martha Padish to reimburse the county for the new ES&S touch screen voting machines that will allow all of Vermillion County's approximately 12,500 voters in all 17 election precincts to vote without assistance beginning with the 2006 May Primary Election. Vermillion County is switching to optical scan and touch screen machines from the punch card ballots it used in the 2000 election.

"Secretary Rokita's office has been fantastic in this long process," said Padish. "These touch screen machines will allow all of our residents to vote independently at the polls if they want."

"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. "Vermillion 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.