Rokita Distributes Voting Equipment Funds to Ohio County

Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz

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

Ohio County received $45,884 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 Ohio County Commissioners President Connie Brown to reimburse the county for the new iVotronic touch screen voting machines that will allow all of Wabash County's approximately 5,000 voters in all 11 election precincts to vote without assistance beginning with the 2006 May Primary Election. Ohio County Clerk Connie Althoff said Ohio County already uses touch screen voting machines.

"Secretary Rokita's office has been extremely helpful in this long process," said Althoff. "We have had optical scan machines since 1999 and that won't change. However, because of HAVA, we now also have touch screen machines for disabled voters in our county."

"I'm very grateful that we are getting this check," said Brown. "It will be nice to allow all disabled residents to vote at the polls if they so choose this coming election."

"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. "Ohio 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.