Rokita Distributes Voting Equipment Funds to Lagrange County

Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz

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

Lagrange County received $67,240 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 Lagrange County Clerk Beverly Elliot to reimburse the county for the new AccuVote touch screen voting machines that will allow all of Lagrange County's approximately 15,000 voters in all 16 election precincts to vote without assistance beginning with the 2006 May Primary Election. Lagrange County will continue to use optical scan machines for voting as well.

"Secretary Rokita's office has been extremely helpful in this long process," said Elliot. "We will continue to use the optical scan machines that our voters are so familiar with, however it will be nice to have additional machines that are fully accessible to all of our voters."

"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. "Lagrange 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.