Washington, DC - The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) marked the 15th Anniversary of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) by reflecting on HAVA’s successes and urging Congress to fulfill their promise and appropriate the remaining $396 million for state and local governments to improve and secure the nation’s election systems.
Congress passed HAVA in 2002 and promised a total of $3.9 billion for upgrades to voting equipment and election administration practices, increased polling place access for disabled voters and the creation of statewide voter registration databases. HAVA also created the US Election Assistance Commission to serve as a clearinghouse for election best practices and for the purpose of developing updated versions of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG).
The implementation of HAVA by state and local governments has been a true success story. HAVA was the first piece of federal legislation to provide funding for election administration improvements, and states used the opportunity to enhance the security, accessibility, accuracy and reliability of election systems. However, despite this progress, new challenges face election integrity every day.
“HAVA was the first federal investment in our democratic process, helping many states upgrade their technology and improve their statewide voter registration systems. We can all agree providing the remaining $396 million that was promised by Congress, would go a long way to aiding the states as they prepare for 2018 and beyond,” said Connie Lawson, President of NASS and Indiana’s Secretary of State.
“As we mark 15 years since HAVA’s passage, my colleagues and I are very proud of the work accomplished and know that we face new challenges not envisioned in 2002. Having those remaining dollars would be both appropriate and appreciated.”
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