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Fw: electionline.org ALERT -- October 4, 2002: Initial Summary of Election Reform Compromise

Title: Message
October 4, 2002: Initial Summary of Election Reform Compromise

electionline.org's Aron Goetzl attended today's press conference and briefing regarding the election reform compromise reached in Congress this morning. 
Until the actual legislative language is available, here is his summary of provisions in the compromise reached between Senate and House conferees, as described by staff aides:
  • The disbursement of $865 million immediately in the following manner: $325 million for state grants; $325 million to replace punch-card and lever machines; $100 million for purchase of machines for disabled voters; and $115 million for other programs in the bill.
  • The disbursement of an additional $3 billion during the next three years for state grants. A five percent (5%) state match is required to receive those funds.
  • States and localities will be reimbursed for the purchase of new voting systems retroactive to November 2000.
  • The creation of an Election Assistance Commission that will serve as a clearinghouse of elections information and administer the block grants. The body will not have rule-making authority.
  • States are required to have provisional balloting procedures in place by 2004.
  • Beginning in 2003, first-time voters who register by mail must provide a copy of or show in person a current valid form of identification. If the voter provides a photo ID (i.e., government ID, student ID, driver license), it need only include the voterís name. If the voter provides a document such as a credit card bill or utility bill, it must include the voterís name and current address.
  • States are required to have statewide voter registration systems in place by 2006. These systems must feature electronic verification, which will enable states to match voters with a unique identifying number, such as the last four digits of their Social Security number, their driver license number or a state-assigned number. States are required to link their registration systems to their respective motor vehicles department.
  • States are required to meet voting machine requirements for the disabled by 2006.
  • States are required to meet new posting requirements at polling places by 2004.
  • States are required to establish an administrative grievance procedure to handle votersí complaints. These bodies must be in place before states are able to receive federal grants.

 Of course, we will provide more detailed information as it becomes available.