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Home > Clerks' & Registrars' Corner > HAVA Bulletin August 2006

The HAVA Bulletin

An Update on the Help America Vote Act

August 2006


Message from the Secretary of State

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap

This fall, we will be rolling out the Central Voter Registration system (CVR) and the Accessible Voting Solution (AVS). Maine has made significant progress carrying out the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA). This law will enhance consistency, integrity and accuracy for all federal elections throughout the nation. Every municipality will be online with the CVR, benefiting from its many time-saving efficiencies and improving the overall accuracy of statewide voter registration information. Also, every polling place will be provided with accessible voting equipment to meet the needs of voters with disabilities. Through HAVA, Maine is strengthening its voter registration process and ensuring every eligible citizen’s right and ability to vote. The State will continue to need the support and cooperation of all municipalities in order to succeed, and we thank you for all your help.

The Federal HAVA requirements impose some challenges on all of us, but they will bring major new benefits. Our partnership with municipalities is crucial to our success: we have a great deal to accomplish, and I am confident that with your help, we will succeed. I am grateful for your extraordinary support and hard work, and the State is fully committed to supporting municipal officials, who carry on Maine's unbroken tradition of election integrity.


State Kicks Off Accessible Voting Solution (AVS) Project

On July 31st, the State announced a major step in the implementation of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in the State of Maine. Accessible voting equipment has been selected for purchase this year to enable individuals with disabilities to vote with privacy and independence—a first-ever opportunity for many. The Inspire Vote-By-Phone system, produced by IVS, LLC of Kentucky, has been selected following an extensive review process that involved a broad range of interested individuals and organizations—including individuals with disabilities and local election officials.

Although most voters in Maine will continue to cast a paper ballot by the methods they've become accustomed to, each voting location in Maine will feature one accessible voting device. This will enable the State to comply with a major federal requirement under HAVA, in parallel with our implementation of the Central Voter Registration system (CVR).

The Inspire Vote-By-Phone system allows voters to cast their ballots using a telephone and fax combination that will be set up at their local polling place.  After arriving at the polling place, the voter may request to vote by phone.  The poll worker will use the designated phone to call the central system, enter the appropriate access codes, and give the phone to the voter.

The purchase will be funded almost entirely by the federal government.  The total cost to initially equip 600 voting locations is expected to be approximately $1.5 million. By selecting IVS over other options, the State will save over $8 million through the end of next year. These cost savings will allow the State to make additional improvements to the election process, enhance physical accessibility to polling places, and begin a comprehensive voter outreach initiative.

This November's election will represent the first time individuals with a wide range of disabilities will be able to mark a ballot without help from another individual. This will be an important and historic election—a substantial step forward in terms of voting privacy and independence.


CVR Timeline for Municipalities

Data Conversion: Underway

Our Data Conversion Team is working with clerks and registrars to move existing voter data from current electronic and paper-based systems to the CVR. The strategy for completing this process varies from municipality to municipality, based on factors such as voter population and the current process or system you use to store voter registration information. If you have not yet heard from us about the specific strategy we will use for your municipality, you will hear from us soon. Regardless of the process, every municipality will have an opportunity to review the data prior to its final movement into the CVR.

Data Conversion includes the movement of a Street Address Library and Voter Data.

Street Address Libraries: All municipalities have access to their address library files (the list of all streets, street ranges and associated districts) and instructions for reviewing those files for accuracy and completeness. If you have not already completed your review, please do so as soon as possible.

Voter Data - Electronic Data Conversion: Many municipalities will have their voter data converted electronically by our data conversion team and entered automatically into the CVR, following municipal review in the Data Correction tool. Our team has started to contact municipalities to acquire this data, and will be in frequent communication over the next few months.

Voter Data - Data Entry: Some municipalities, depending on their size and current system, will need to enter voter data manually using a data entry form specifically designed to facilitate entry. Please be on the lookout for communications regarding your municipality.

If you have any questions, please contact Paul LeMont at Paul.LeMont@maine.gov or 626-8492.

Training: Begins August 28

Regional training sessions will begin August 28th. Actual training is dependent upon a number of variables, including conversion of voter data, training location availability and geographic constraints, in addition to municipal official availability. Every municipal official will receive notice of their training date within a few weeks. It is very important to notify us immediately if you cannot attend a particular session, so we may accommodate you at another date and location. If you have any questions, please contact Johnnie Meehl at Johnnie.Meehl@maine.gov or 624-7648.

Pilot: Begins September 1

ElectioNet and the CVR will go live, in about a dozen selected towns, in a pilot program beginning September 1. We will contact the selected municipalties regarding their participation, and ask that these municipalities be able to complete their review of converted data by the end of August.

Rollout: Begins September 8

The CVR will begin rolling out statewide on September 8. Municipalities will go live on ElectioNet in a series of groups during September and October. Each municipality will be notified of its “Go Live” date.


Benefits of the CVR

Instead of more than 500 municipal lists maintained separately, there will be one statewide list which each municipality can access, update, and use for its elections. CVR will provide:

• Easy-to-use reporting and online inquiries
• Online viewing of voter signatures
• Streamlined absentee ballot tracking and petition certification
• Verification and query capabilities with other municipalities
• Fewer list maintenance duties using automated notices to voters and messages to other municipalities
• Elimination of most reporting requirements to the State
• Reduction of paper consumption by consolidating all records into electronic format


Reminder: HAVA Municipal Information Survey

The Division of Elections has sent all municipalities an informational survey, which was due on August 4. Thank you to those who have responded already. In anticipation of implementing both the CVR and the AVS to municipalities, there is a lot of data gathering, planning and scheduling that needs to take place well in advance. We will be offering training for each system to at least one person per municipality, and in most cases two people. We need to be sure that we have accurate and pertinent information to make this happen in the most effective manner. Please complete the survey and return it as soon as possible so that we may plan according to our mutual needs. Thank you.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Q: What if my town doesn’t have internet access?

A: The CVR application, known as ElectioNet, is an Internet, web-based application. In order to maintain voter registrations on the CVR, Internet access is required. Joan Bolduc, the Data Communications Customer Assistance Coordinator with the State Office of Information Technology (OIT), will be contacting Clerks or Registrars in municipalities that are not currently connected to the Internet. She will be working with you, coordinating and contracting with vendors, and scheduling the work orders to ensure you are able to access the CVR. If you have any questions, please call Joan Bolduc at 624-9904.

Q. I found an entry in my address library with the street name “Non Traditional NTS”. What should I do?

A. This street name will be used only for a voter with a non-traditional residence address, such as a person who is homeless or who has another non-traditional residence, such as a boat or recreational vehicle. More information will be provided soon, as part of the data conversion instructions, on how to process voter information such as this. Please do not delete this street from your library.

Q. I’ve finished reviewing my address library. How do I notify you that I’m done?

A. Please contact Paul LeMont at Paul.LeMont@maine.gov or 626-8492 to let him know that your review is complete. This will provide him with a valid email address to send future correspondence, and it will notify him of your completion as well. Thank you to those towns that have already notified him of their completion.

Q: What is the user name and password for my computer?

A: For the initial set-up of the CVR computer, you will need a username: Hava; and password: Hava01. Once you enter these defaults, you must create your own unique password and keep it secure. Please refer to the documentation included with the equipment for this and other important set-up information. Once you are logged onto the computer, you will see an icon on the screen for the CVR application. You will be unable to access the CVR until you receive a specific username and password, which will be provided to you at Track 2 Training.


 

Website: www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/hava/
E-mail: sos.office@maine.gov

Phone: 624-7650 (Division of Elections)