Federal EAC chairman DeGregorio visits Indiana; discusses HAVA compliance

Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz

Contact: Jen Fanger

Indianapolis, IN - Today, Federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Chairman Paul DeGregorio joined Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita to discuss Indiana's implementation of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).

HAVA was a significant piece of federal legislation that required all states to implement a statewide voter registration database, replace outdated punch card and lever voting systems, provide at least one accessible voting system per polling place, and make all polling places fully accessible for voter with disabilities. The EAC is the federal entity charged with overseeing HAVA implementation nationwide.

"For the first time in Indiana, Hoosiers with disabilities will be able to cast their ballots privately and independently, as the Constitution intended," Rokita said. "That is an accomplishment that took hard work at the state level, and by bipartisan election officials in all 92 counties."

DeGregorio commended Indiana's high level of compliance with HAVA standards, and illustrated his point by telling "a tale of two cities" that contrasted Indianapolis with New York City, which did not meet the federal deadline to implement HAVA.

"In New York City, there are only five accessible machines for 4.1 million voters," DeGregorio said. "Here, in Indiana, every polling place has an accessible machine."

DeGregorio also praised Indiana for its implementation and testing of the statewide voter registration system, which was launched in November, 2005 and used statewide for the May, 2006 Primary.