HAVA Funds Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet:  HAVA Requirements Payments to States

Provided by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission at the NCSL Legislative Summit, July 20, 2009

The demand for Help America Vote Act (HAVA) remains high. The timing of the appropriation of funds, efforts to meet HAVA requirements, and varying legislative cycles in the states determine when states are able to apply for and receive the funds. Elections incur ongoing costs as voter rolls swell and change, voting systems outlive their useful life, and voter education and outreach continue.

Overview of Requirements Payments Funds Administered by EAC

  • Total funds authorized under Section 251 Requirements Payments:  $3 billion
  • Total Section 251 Requirements Payments appropriated to date:  $2.534 billion
  • Total distributed through September 30, 2008 (FY ’08): $2.321 billion
  • 93% of total funds appropriated have been distributed to 55 states (as of July 15, 2009)
  • Approximately 77 percent of funds distributed have been expended through FY 08
    • 32 states have expended more than 75 percent of the funds they received through FY 08 
    • 11 states have expended all of their funds received through FY 08
    • 11 states have expended less than 50% of funds distributed through FY 2008

Distribution of Requirements Payments

Fiscal Year 2008 Requirements Payments

  • Nineteen states have requested and received a total of $32.1 million
  • One additional state has a $1.99 million payment request pending
  • This represents 20 states and $34,077,736 out of $115,000,000 available (30 percent of 2008 Requirements Payments)

Fiscal Year 2009 Requirements Payments

  • Four states have requested and received a total of $5.65 million; 6 percent of funds available
  • Two additional states have pending requests for payment of $2.23 million total
  • This represents five states and $7,885,777 out of $100,000,000 available; 8 percent of 2009 Requirements Payments

Fiscal Year 2010 Requirements Payments

  • White House request -- $50 million
  • House Appropriations Committee request -- $100 million
  • Senate Appropriations Committee request -- $50 million

Unique Circumstances that Affect Distribution of Funds

  • The 2008 funds were not available at the beginning of the year when most state legislatures were in session.
  • Due to the timing of the availability of funds, the 5 percent required match could not be appropriated by many states.
  • Some states' legislatures convene every two years, further delaying the ability of these states to appropriate the 5 percent required match.
  • The decision of some states move away from electronic voting systems to paper-based systems resulted in state plan modifications, adding at least 60 days of public comment processes that delayed receipt of funds.
  • State procurement procedures for new voting equipment added and continues to add more time to the process and delays states' ability to apply for and receive Requirements Payments.
  • Some states have been impacted by budget constraints, which have resulted in matching funds not being appropriated.

State Requirements to Receive HAVA Funds (Ongoing)

  • Five percent state match
  • Amended state plan if necessary to reflect any material changes (includes state public comment period and Federal Register publication period, totaling 60 days of public comment)

Uses of HAVA Funds

Requirements Payments may only be used to meet HAVA Title III requirements:

  • Procuring voting systems that comply with the requirements of HAVA
  • Developing, operating, and/or maintaining a computerized statewide voter registration list
  • Providing required information to voters at the polling place for Federal elections
  • Implementing and/or operating a system of provisional voting during Federal elections
  • Implementing identification requirements for first-time voters who register to vote by mail

Exception: States can use these funds for other improvements to the administration of Federal elections only after meeting the Title III requirements, or if the amount is not more than the minimum payment (2003= $4,150,000; 2004= $7,229,205; 2008:= $575,000; 2009:= $500,000 Total= $12,671,803)

EAC Efforts to Streamline the Process

  • States now able to draw down 2008 and 2009 funds in a combined process.
  • Increased communication with states, including a technical assistance call on June 16, 2009.
  • More assistance regarding state plan issues and administration of funds.
  • Clarified and raised the threshold for requiring changes to state plans in order to receive 08/09 payments

For More Information

Contact NCSL's elections staff by email or at 303-364-7700.


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