Vermont towns get $85,000 in grants to improve voting access

first_imgToday, Vermont Secretary of State Deb Markowitz announced that over $85,000 in grants were awarded to 19 municipalities to help them to continue to meet the mandates of the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) which was signed into law on October 29, 2002. HAVA provides opportunities for municipalities to improve the administration and access to elections in Vermont. As Vermont s chief election officer, the Secretary of State oversees this process.This year grants in amounts of up to $20,000 will be used by municipalities to improve accessibility to polling places used for the primary and general elections. Since the program began, the Secretary of State s Office has awarded 119 grants totaling $481,538. Markowitz said, This round of grants is intended to help ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to polling places. Funds may be used for improvements such as paving parking areas, building ramps, and improving lighting.Most of the costs for meeting the mandates of HAVA have been borne by the Secretary of State s office. In 2004, the Secretary of State s office received $16.6 million dollars in federal funds to help Vermont implement HAVA. Markowitz said, We have been very careful in our spending of this federal money which has enabled us to create an election trust fund so that now, and into the future, we can ensure that the costs of meeting the many new federal mandates created by HAVA will not be shifted to the municipalities of Vermont.Markowitz added, We were pleased that the legislature permitted us to establish this grant program to help our municipalities cover some of the incidental costs of the federal election reform mandates.For more information on the Help America Vote Act, go to the Secretary of State s website at http://vermont-elections.org/elections1/hava.html(link is external)2009 HAVA Accessibility Grants   Amt  #TOWN Project5,000.001PawletNew door and ramp3,200.002North HeroPave the walkway from the handicap parking area5,000.003CharlestonNew ramp and handicap parking sign331.504PlainfieldPurchase lights with magnifiers for voting booths5,000.005TownshendCreate handicap parking space & ramp to enter building5,000.006ClarendonPave parking area2,414.007WestminsterPortable Lighting3,000.008NewburyRepair steps5,000.009PittsfordPave parking area3,920.0010St.AlbansReplace door and frame, install small roof, lever handled hardware5,000.0011WilmingtonReplace doors, curb cut4,513.0012BarreInstall automatic doors, mats500.0013ThetfordADA compliant signs20,00014Burlington School DistrictInstall automatic doors, add handicap parking spaces3,50015GloverInstall handicap accessible door and ramp759.3516RoxburyCreate handicap parking space, magnifying galls, accessible booth  4,875.0017BerkshirePaving, handicap parking, access to ramp5,000.0018CraftsburyPaving and lighting of parking area3,200.0019LincolnPaving and painting handicap spaces85,212.85last_img