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[SOS] Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson Distributes Voting Accessibility Funds to Spencer County
Start Date: 10/7/2013 All Day
End Date: 10/7/2013
Entry Description

Spencer County using funds to improve access to community centers and fire department

Rockport, IN (October 7, 2013) – Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson approved Spencer County’s application for money to improve voting accessibility. The county was awarded $14,599 as part of the latest round of funding distributed to counties who meet the qualifications of the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. Applications are approved with the consent of the bipartisan co-directors of the Indiana Election Division. These funds will be used to upgrade current polling places to ensure those locations are handicap accessible.

 

“I commend Spencer County’s commitment to improving accessibility for Hoosiers,” Secretary Lawson said. “These upgrades at the request of Spencer County Clerk Gay Ann Harney will improve the polling location structures for all citizens, not just on election day but every day.  

Spencer County will use the funds to upgrade accessibility for all voters at polling locations used in the primary and general elections throughout the county. With the grant, Spencer County was able to update a community building’s bathroom to allow a wheelchair bound poll workers and/or voters access to the bathroom on Election Day. Seventeen handicap accessible parking spots were added and posted new signs at nine polling locations. Door knobs were replaced at three of the polling locations. New ramps were purchased along with temporary Election Day parking signs.

 

“I would like to thank Secretary of State Connie Lawson and the Co-Directors of the Indiana Election Division Trent Deckard and Brad King for the opportunity to apply for this HAVA grant,” said Clerk Harney.  “Since Spencer County is such a rural community, we have very few options in which to locate polling locations. I welcomed the opportunity to apply for a grant that gives all voters the chance to independently cast their vote at the polls on Election Day.”

Congress passed HAVA in response to issues raised in various parts of the country during the 2000 Presidential Election. The HAVA funding Spencer County is receiving is a Health and Human Services grant. It was established to help counties upgrade polling locations to meet handicap accessibility standards.  The counties may use this funding to make upgrades such as adding a wheelchair ramp, automatic-door openers and parking pads.  Grant applications are submitted to the Indiana Secretary of State’s Election Division. While the funds awarded are federal dollars, the Secretary of State’s office is responsible for approving grant applications and administering the reimbursement funds. 

Contact Information:
Name: Valerie Kroeger
Phone: 317-233-8655
Email: vkroeger@sos.IN.gov
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