Contact: Jim Gavin
(Indianapolis) - Today, Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita, joined by Ball State University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Terry S. King, announced a grant agreement between the two organizations under which Ball State will administer the Voting Systems Technical Oversight Program (VSTOP) created under Ind. Code 3-11-17-6.
Between 2003 and 2006, the State of Indiana and Indiana counties invested over 40 million dollars of federal and state matching Help America Vote Act funds in new electronic voting systems that were based on computer technology. Ensuring that these new systems comply with changes in Federal and State election law while continuing to maintain the publics trust in the voting process is a complex undertaking that demands a great amount of resources.
In 2005, The Indiana Legislature responded to these needs and gave the Secretary of State authorization to implement VSTOP via a grant, which would provide funding for research that would assist the Indiana Election Commission and Indiana counties with technology issues related to electronic voting systems. The Secretary of State's office issued a request for proposals (RFP) in 2006 to which public and private Indiana colleges and universities were invited to respond.
“After careful consideration, my office selected Ball State University’s Bowen Center for Public Affairs to receive the first VSTOP grant,” said Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita. “Under Ball State’s proposal, “The Office of Indiana Voting Systems” will be established, bringing together a team with expertise in elections, computing systems, and training.”
In April of this year, Secretary Rokita was notified that sufficient funds were available in order to begin the purposes of VSTOP. The funds were made available through the Indiana legislature as well as the proceeds of penalties and settlements resulting from the Secretary of State’s office voting systems enforcement activities.
“I am excited to present this grant in the amount of $162,097.00 to Provost King and Ball State University,” said Rokita. “The Indiana Election Commission, State and County Election officials, and all the citizens in Indiana will benefit from ongoing services provided by this program.”
“Ball State is committed to this project,” said Jo Ann M. Gora, President of Ball State University. “We will look forward to the opportunity to work with the Secretary of State and the county clerks across the state in implementing this project.”
Pictured from left to right:
Secretary of State Todd Rokita, Provost Terry King, Dr. Ray Scheele, and Dr. Sally Jo Vasicko.