HAVA Annual Report 2003–2004
The Help America Vote Act – A Report to Congress, the President, and the National Council on Disability
II. Protection and Advocacy Systems — Help America to Vote:
Formula grants are awarded to eligible Protection and Advocacy Systems in the States and Territories to empower, protect, and advocate on behalf of persons with developmental disabilities, as authorized and defined in the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000. The Help America Vote Act provides additional funding for Protection and Advocacy organizations, also called P&As, related to voting assistance, in Section 291 of HAVA.
Funds made available under HAVA are to be used to:
- Provide education, training and assistance to individuals with disabilities to promote their participation in the electoral process;
- Provide education and assistance to individuals with disabilities regarding voter registration;
- Provide education to individuals with disabilities regarding their legal rights pertaining to voting;
- Provide assistance to individuals with disabilities in accessing the polling places on election day;
- Participate in advocacy efforts regarding all HAVA implementation efforts in their State;
- Participate on the HAVA State Planning Committee;
- Provide input and comments into State HAVA planning and activities, including activities concerning HAVA State legislation;
- Participate in and provide training and education to election officials, poll workers and election volunteers regarding the rights of voters with disabilities;
- Provide assistance to States regarding the physical accessibility of polling places, such as surveying polling places, identifying needed modifications, and developing criteria for identifying accessible polling places; and
- Obtain training and technical assistance on voting issues, including matters related to accessible voting equipment and systems.
In FY 2003, a total of $1,860,000 was made available and 55 grants were awarded to the Protection and Advocacy Systems (P&As) of States and Territories to support activities described in the law. In FY 2003, all States, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico received $34,766, and all other Territories received $17,383. In FY 2004, a total of $4,970,500 was made available and 55 grants ranging from $70,000 to $350,789 were awarded to all States, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. American Samoa, Guam and the Virgin Islands each received $35,000. State-by-State allotment tables for FY 2003 and FY 2004 can be found on page 8.
Examples of activities carried out by Protection and Advocacy Systems are below.
The Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, Inc. of Florida:
- Sponsored a voter empowerment summit addressing topics such as voter identification and registration, electronic voting, and election access for voters with disabilities;
- Provided technical assistance to the Florida Secretary of State’s Office and to County Supervisors of Elections on disability access issues;
- Contributed to the development of voluntary guidelines for accessible campaigns; and
- Arranged transportation for persons for early voting and for Election Day voting.
Protection and Advocacy, Inc. of California:
- Trained approximately 600 individuals on topics related to ensuring full participation in elections for voters with the full range of disabilities;
- Was a member of the California Secretary of State’s task force to develop uniform poll worker training standards and participated in the development of these standards; and
- Sponsored an Election Day hotline for people with disabilities seeking advice.
South Dakota Advocacy Services:
- Published a series of articles on the Help America Vote Act covering topics relevant to voters with disabilities;
- Provided training to county auditors;
- Conducted eight outreach events to distribute HAVA information; and
- Participated in seven public listening sessions addressing voting issues and concerns.
Ohio Legal Rights Services (OLRS), in anticipation of the 2004 election:
- Mobilized nearly one-half of its attorneys and advocates to create the OLRS Ballot Access Project team. This team created a dedicated, 24-hour voting intake service with direct access to staff during business hours and a scripted voice message system during off-hours for next business day response to address issues related to voting.
Michigan Protection and Advocacy Services:
- Organized individuals knowledgeable of the Americans with Disabilities Act to assist local clerks in surveying the physical accessibility of polling places throughout Michigan.
Pennsylvania Protection and Advocacy System, Inc.:
- Identified persons with disabilities living in nursing homes, personal care homes, group homes, and other congregate settings to provide advocacy and support to assist those individuals in exercising their voting rights.
The Disability Law Center of Alaska:
- Provided outreach to over 100 assisted living homes;
- Offered voter registration assistance to residents; and
- Provided voters with information regarding their voting rights.
West Virginia Advocates:
- Conducted site visits to polling places;
- Completed surveys to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act related to accessibility; and
- Developed a process to be used on Election Day whereby staff were available to answer calls from voters seeking information, assistance, or transportation to the polling place.
|District of Columbia||34,766||70,000|