The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) is civil rights legislation to ensure voters are treated equally across the United States of America. Not since the Voting Rights Act of 1965 has there been such sweeping change in federal election law. The significant changes brought about by HAVA will improve the elections process significantly.
HAVA increases Arizona’s responsibility for election administration in order to establish consistency across the state. Requirements of HAVA consist of replacing punch-card ballots; providing accessible voting devices for the physically disabled at all polling sites in Arizona; developing an administrative complaint procedure for voters; implementing a statewide voter registration list; and improving and developing uniform election processes among all counties within the state.
Arizona is moving forward on all requirements of HAVA. Secretary of State Brewer and a state planning committee developed the “ Arizona HAVA State Plan”, outlining the steps Arizona is taking to comply with HAVA. The state purchased optical scan equipment to replace punch card equipment still being used in nine of Arizona’s counties in October 2003.
In addition to the State Plan, Secretary Brewer implemented the “ Brewer Voting Action Plan”. The “Brewer Voting Action Plan” addresses issues on fair and accurate elections, secure elections, paper trails, shared information, training and education, and new standards and equipment.