Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz
Indianapolis, IN - Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita's office this week sent to all 92 counties applications for supplies to help counties make necessary changes to polling places to meet the accessibility requirements of both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).
The United States Department of Health and Human Services, upon request of the Secretary of State's office, awarded Indiana a $426,398 grant to be used to improve accessibility of polling places. Of the money, $60,000 was set aside for the polling place survey conducted in all 92 counties, and the remaining $366,398 will be used to help make Indiana's polling places 100% accessible and compliant with ADA.
The federal funds will be used by the state to purchase items from a state registered vendor; the items, like parking signs and door handles, will be distributed to counties based on need and on data obtained through the survey and requested via the applications sent out this week. HAVA requires all polling places to be accessible to individuals with the full range of disabilities, including vision and hearing impairments and mobility difficulties. Products acquired through the application process will be used to establish or improve parking, paths of travel, entrances and exits, and voting areas.
"Our goal is to provide all voters the same opportunities for access and participation at the polls," Rokita said. "Through this application and distribution of items like parking signs and door handles, we will use the limited amount of dollars available to help improve the greatest number of polling places we can at no cost to the counties."