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Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz
Indianapolis, IN - Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita today distributed election reform money to Lake 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.
Lake County received $2,085,270 in federal and state money which was distributed by the Secretary of State's office. This latest round of reimbursements brings to $29.9 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 Lake County Clerk Thomas Philpot, members of the Lake County Board of Elections and Voter Registration, and representatives from the County Commissioners to reimburse the county for the new MicroVote Infinity Voting System machines that will be accessible to all of Lake County's approximately 355,000 voters in all 549 election precincts beginning with the 2006 May Primary Election. Lake County will switch from older MicroVote machines.
"I think Lake County has taken a great step forward in ensuring equal access to all voters," said Philpot. "This project could not have been undertaken without the help of the Secretary of State's office."
"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. "Lake 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 will be eligible for additional funding in the coming months.