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PRESS RELEASE
January 31, 2003
For more information, contact Kevin Tyne at 602-542-4919
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Sec. of State Jan Brewer Announces State Planning Committee on Election Reform

New Committee Will Formulate New Process for Arizona Voter Registration & Elections

PHOENIX -- Secretary of State Jan Brewer announced the creation of Arizona’s State Planning Committee in an effort to improve administration of elections, educate voters, and upgrade statewide voting systems and technology. This action comes on the heels of Congress and President Bush passing the "Help America Vote Act of 2002" which specifically mandates strategic planning for elections by each state.

"The federal government requires our state to undertake comprehensive election reform," said Secretary Brewer. "The first step is to put forward a quality group of people from throughout this state to help develop a workable system for all of Arizona voters."

This new Committee will put forward recommendations on how to create a new statewide and uniform voter registration database, maintain new and existing voting systems, provide accessible voting devices for the disabled, and increase voter education and training for the new systems.

Stated Secretary Brewer, "My first priority with this Committee is to get a centralized voter registration system that will help update our voter rolls, and then we need to do away with punch card voting systems." Added Brewer, "Arizonan’s deserve to have their votes counted accurately."

All fifty states must submit a state plan that delivers compliance with the new federal requirements. The plan must also be sent on to the federal government in order to receive any federal funding aid. Secretary Brewer’s new State Planning Committee meetings will be open to the public. The Committee has a diverse group of appointees including representatives from: 10 counties, all recognized state parties, several statewide election experts, visually impaired groups, African-American, Hispanic, Native American, disability groups, computer technology, and campaign and voter outreach experts.

"I have assembled a group of ‘can-do’ people that can handle the complexities we confront in developing this plan," said Secretary Brewer, "the challenge is enormous, but is one we can accomplish by working together."

Enclosure attached.

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