HAVA Annual Report 2003–2004
The Help America Vote Act – A Report to Congress, the President, and the National Council on Disability
The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 29, 2002. HAVA assigned responsibility for the administration of the law’s disability provisions (sections 261 and 291) to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, who further delegated the programs to the Administration on Developmental Disabilities within the Administration for Children and Families.
Information contained in this report reflects the requirements as set forth in Title II, Subtitle D, Part 2, Section 265 (b) of HAVA:
(b) Report by Secretary to Committees—With respect to each fiscal year for which the Secretary makes payments under this part, the Secretary shall submit a report on the activities carried out under this part to the Committee on House Administration of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate.
Sections 261 and 291 of HAVA authorize the creation of federal grant programs that support efforts to ensure that persons with disabilities, including physical, developmental or other disabilities, also referenced as the full range of disabilities, have access to the election process.
Section 101 of HAVA also advises that Federal election sites must commit to “improving the accessibility and quantity of polling places, including providing non-visual access for individuals with visual impairments, and providing assistance to Native Americans, Alaska Native citizens, and to individuals with limited proficiency in the English language.”
To address these concerns, eligible States and Territories received payments administered by the Government Services Administration (GSA) subsequent to the enactment of HAVA to “ensure that all of the punch card voting systems or level voting systems in the qualifying precincts within that State will be replaced in time for the first election for Federal office held after January 2006.”
The HAVA grant awards administered by ADD in HHS, and by GSA, are designed to be utilized by States and Territories in making progress towards the goal of making polling places accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Beginning in Fiscal Year 2003, ADD has awarded 225 grants totaling approximately $30,000,000. The first grants authorized by HAVA and managed by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities were awarded between August and September 2003. The second year grants were awarded between April and May 2004. All grant monies are available until expended. The programs authorized at Sections 261 and 291 and managed by ADD are described in the following pages.