May 8, 2003
For more information, contact Kevin Tyne at 542-4919Sec. of State Brewer Gets First $5 Million of Federal HAVA Funds
Continues to Lead Nation Meeting Federal Election Reform MandatesPHOENIX Secretary of State Jan Brewer today announced that Arizona had received and deposited the first $5 million installment of federal funding to be used for election improvements and new voting equipment. This first allotment of funds marks the initial payment of dollars appropriated by Congress to states that meet specific new requirements in implementing the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).
"I have worked very hard to ensure that our State is in full compliance with these new federal election standards, said Secretary Brewer, "I am extremely proud to receive this first $5 million appropriation."
Once fully funded by Congress, the State of Arizona could receive upwards of $58 million to implement new election reforms including a statewide voter registration system, replacing antiquated punch card voting devices still in use in 9 counties, improving access, privacy and independence for voters with disabilities, and purchasing state-of-the-art touch screen voting devices.
By federal law, Secretary Brewer was required to notify the General Services Administration by April 29, 2003 that Arizona was in compliance with the initial guidelines set forth in HAVA thus ensuring eligibility to receive federal dollars. An important final hurdle in receiving this "early money" from the federal government was the passage of HB 2197, which established the election systems improvement fund to be administered by the Secretary of State. Without such a provision, the Secretary of State would not have had the legal ability to deposit federal dollars and begin implementing HAVA requirements.
"This $5 million is a fantastic first step in what will be a long and difficult journey to completely revamp Arizonas electoral process," added Brewer, "it is vitally important that we stay on track to meet the provisions and deadlines established by Congress in order to qualify for the full federal appropriations."
Secretary Brewer referred to the additional requirements of HAVA which mandate a state funding match from Arizona of up to $2.5 million, as well as conforming state statute language currently proposed in SB 1145.
"Because HAVA is deemed to be civil rights legislation by the federal government, we are mandated to implement these new election reforms," stated Secretary Brewer, "but without a state match and passage of SB 1145, our taxpayers could be forced to pick up the remaining $58 million tab, and thats no laughing matter!"
Secretary Brewer has aggressively lobbied Governor Napolitano and the State Legislature for the passage of SB 1145, and continues to work for the necessary matching dollars as well.