HAVA Annual Report 2003–2004
The Help America Vote Act – A Report to Congress, the President, and the National Council on Disability
I. State Grants for Election Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (EAID):
State Grants for Election Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities are authorized at Section 261 of the Help America Vote Act. Grants are distributed to States and Territories according to a formula based on the State or Territory’s relative size of the voting age population (the number of individuals 18 years of age or older as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau). Depending on the availability of appropriated funds, no State or Territory applying for funds receives a payment of less than $100,000.
These funds are for:
- Making polling places, including path of travel, entrances, exits, and voting areas of each polling facility, accessible to individuals with the full range of disabilities;
- Providing the same opportunity for access and participation (including privacy and independence) to individuals with the full range of disabilities;
- Providing training for election officials, poll workers, and election volunteers on how best to promote the access and participation of individuals with the full range of disabilities in elections for Federal office; and
- Providing individuals with the full range of disabilities with information about the accessibility of polling places.
For FY 2003, a total of $13 million was disbursed in 55 grants ranging from $100,000 to $1,371,756. Awards were made to each State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. In Fiscal Year 2004, a total of $9,941,000 was disbursed among the States and Territories in amounts ranging from $100,000 to $985,955. State-by-State allotment tables for each fiscal year are covered in this report on page four.
Examples of activities carried out by the States and Territories with Section 261 funds are listed below.
- Arizona awarded grants to county partnerships to purchase accessible voting booths, clip-on lights, parking signs, ramps, door handle adapters, embosser and translation software, and audio voting materials.
- Washington, D.C., purchased electronic voting systems which provide an audio ballot for blind voters and enable voter independence and privacy.
- Georgia developed a statewide, uniform Poll Worker Training Guide which includes detailed guidelines for interacting with voters with a full range of disabilities, an address by a well known disability advocate, the production of a training video, and the involvement of local disability organizations in staff training and technical assistance.
- Puerto Rico improved instructions for blind voters using Braille, purchased equipment and software necessary to make voting materials in the election office library accessible to voters with a variety of disabilities, and equipped four mobile offices to provide voter registration opportunities and voting opportunities to those with disabilities who are hospitalized or home-bound and/or reside in remote areas.
- Mississippi contracted with the Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities to survey polling places using the U.S. Department of Justice ADA Checklist for Polling Places, with resulting information entered into a computerized data base resulting in an ability to have a comprehensive picture of accessibility needs.
- Connecticut, in collaboration with its Protection and Advocacy System, its Board of Education for Services of the Blind, and several national and local advocacy organizations conducted conferences and prepared written materials for local municipal officials and Registrars of Voters to educate them about polling place accessibility.
- Arkansas awarded grants to thirty-one localities for the purchase of: 57 sets of door handles, 74 accessibility signs, 25 accessible thresholds, 26 ramps, 29 accessible parking pads, 12 sets of handrails, 6 accessible doors, 26 accessible voting booths, and magnifying sheets.
- Kentucky awarded its HAVA Section 261 funds to the Kentucky Disabilities Coalition (KDC). The KDC provided an ADA approved “Disability Awareness Guidance” that was included in annual training materials for all poll workers, alternates, and certified challengers.
- Texas contracted with the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities (CTD) to develop and coordinate an interactive HAVA workshop for presentation at the annual conference of the State Independent Living Council to provide individuals with disabilities information on the accessibility of polling places.
- Hawaii worked collaboratively with the Disability and Communication Access Board (DCAB) to train county election clerks and State election officials on best practices for assisting voters with disabilities and to engage in informational outreach promoting the accessible features and use of the Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting system selected by Hawaii to provide accessible voting.
- Minnesota, with the active involvement of the American Council of the Blind and the Minnesota State Council on Disabilities, developed the “2004 Election Judge Training Video Project”, a segment of which concentrates on assisting voters with disabilities.
|District of Columbia||100,000||100,000|