The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is a new federal law enacted late last year to improve voting throughout the country and in response to the problems arising out of the 2000 presidential election. This new law provides federal funds to states to be used for improving voting systems, voter registration and education, improvements to accessibility for disabled voters, as well as many other areas affecting the voting process.
While Massachusetts has been in the forefront in the administration of elections, these federal funds will provide an opportunity for this state to continue to make improvements in the electoral process, increase privacy and independence for voters with disabilities, improve election administration and provide more information to voters regarding the process. I am hopeful that these provisions will also result in increased voter participation.
In order to obtain federal funds under HAVA, Massachusetts must submit a plan showing how the federal funds received will be allocated and how the mandated programs will be implemented. I am pleased to share this draft of the Massachusetts State Plan for implementing the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002.
This plan was prepared by a Steering Committee made up of elected officials, local election officials, state party members, other stake holders including the League of Women Voters and members of the disability community. I am proud of the efforts made by the State Steering Committee in the development of this plan and in their commitment to improving the electoral process in Massachusetts.
I am presenting the plan in draft form and encouraging broad public input before finalizing the proposals. I hope you will review the plan and tell us what you think. Comments will be received through September 2, 2003. Written comments can be submitted to: Elections Division, One Ashburton Place, Room 1705, Boston, MA 02108.
After the public comment period has ended, the plan will be finalized and submitted to the federal government for consideration.
Very truly yours,
WILLIAM FRANCIS GALVIN
Secretary of the Commonwealth
HAVA Final State Plan (DOC)
HAVA Final State Plan (PDF)