MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Secretary of State Beth
Chapman announced today the state of Alabama has received $165,000 as an annual
grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funds are provided under the Help America
Vote Act (HAVA) and are intended to allow Alabama to improve the accessibility
of elections for voters with disabilities.
In all, Alabama has received approximately $1
million from the HHS funding program over the past 6 years. Secretary Chapman
has overseen the distribution of $478,000 since 2007, when she discovered none
of the money was ever distributed from the funds prior to her administration. The remaining $550,000 will be awarded with a
new application available for counties starting September 1, 2009.
As a result of the reimbursements for these local
improvements, polling places have been equipped to assist voters who are
visually or hearing impaired, as well as those with mobility issues.
“We are working to ensure that all 67
counties are able to receive the funds to which they are entitled so that we
may better assist disabled voters,” Chapman said. “We want to ensure that all Alabamians who
are entitled to vote are able to cast their ballots on Election Day as easily
and efficiently as possible.”