Rokita Distributes Voting Equipment Funds to Union County

Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz

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

Union County received $83,620 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 Union County Clerk Patricia Hensley to reimburse the county for the new Fiddlar optical scan and Accuvote touch screen voting machines that will allow all of Union County's approximately 5,600 voters in all 10 election precincts to vote without assistance beginning with the 2006 May Primary Election. Union County will switch from punch card voting.

"Secretary Rokita's office has been extremely helpful in this long process," said Hensley. "Though we did not have many issues with punch cards ballots, after seeing these new optical scan machines, we are extremely excited about the ease of voting and counting votes in the upcoming election. We should be done with the final county vote very early."

"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. "Union 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.