FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMarch 18, 2003
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Secretary of State Jan Brewer Announces HAVA State Plan for Public Comment
Arizona among first states in the nation to complete federal requirement
PHOENIX -- After six weeks of open meeting deliberations, Secretary of State Jan Brewers State Planning Committee completed the Preliminary State Plan recommendations as prescribed by federal law. The plan which addresses election reform in Arizona -- now must be put forward for a 30-day public review and comment period before ultimately being forwarded to the Federal Election Commissions Election Assistance Commission.
The approval of this preliminary plan puts Arizona among the first of three states in the nation to have gone out for public comment. Secretary Brewer also refrained from spending additional funding on private consultants to help develop the plan unlike some other states choosing instead to rely on the 25 member panel and her own staff to organize final recommendations.
"This State Planning Committee worked really hard to develop an effective and practical new election plan that will positively change Arizonas election process for many years," said Secretary Jan Brewer, "this is an important step in making sure we have state-of-the-art voting equipment which ensures timeliness and accuracy."
The State Plan is required as part of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) passed by Congress last year.
Brewers committee also made specific recommendations on how to create a new statewide and uniform voter registration database, purchase and maintain new voting systems, provide accessible voting devices for the disabled, and increase voter education and poll worker training.
Secretary Brewer stated, "Overall, Arizona is in a good position relative to meeting the HAVA requirements." Brewer continued, "I welcome the challenges of implementing HAVA and look forward to receiving appropriate financial support from the federal government as we continue our efforts to lead the nation in election reform."
Earlier this year Congress appropriated nearly $1.5 billion for states to begin upgrading their voter registration database and voting devices. An additional $2 billion has been authorized for Fiscal Years 05 and 06. Arizona could receive as much as $58 million in federal aid if the State legislature provides a required 5 percent match estimated at $2.5 million. The Preliminary State Plan is available for public review and comment at /hava/.
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