Election Reform Package Includes Money For Accessible Voting Methods
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 23, 2002
WASHINGTON, DC--A $3.9 billion election reform bill passed by Congress includes money for states to provide machines that are accessible to voters with disabilities, the Federal Computer Week reported Tuesday.
Under the bill passed before members went home to run for re-election, each state is guaranteed at least $5 million to buy new voting equipment and improve voting procedures.
An additional $100 million is earmarked to ensure that each precinct across the country has at least one voting machine that can be used by people with disabilities. That probably means the states will be buying electronic touch screen voting machines, which currently are the most accessible, said Doug Lewis, director of the Texas-based Election Center.
Over the next three years, the law will target $325 million for "buying out" and eliminating punch card and lever voting machines. Punch cards were at the center of the controversial November 2000 presidential election.
The bill waits for President Bush to sign it into law.