Help America Vote Act (HAVA)




Help America Vote Act (HAVA)

  The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is an item of United             States federal election law signed into law on October 29,           2002 by President Bush. Under HAVA, a new federal voter         registration form was created. HAVA guarantees the ability of     individuals to cast a provisional ballot and have the validity of     their registration checked later if they do not appear on voter       registration rolls.

  The law encourages states to replace punch card and lever       voting machines and requires:

   1. Voters to show ID before voting.
   2. States to provide provisional ballots for voters whose                  registration status in unclear when they arrive to vote.

   3. States to provide a way for those with impaired vision or              hearing to cast a secret ballot.

   4. States to make polling locations and voting machines                  accessible to voters with physical disabilities.

   5. Voting machines to allow voters to verify ballots before                they are cast.

   6. Voters be able to correct a mistake or leave a blank, i.e.,            not cast a vote in a particular contest.

   7. Voters be notified if they "misvote," i.e., cast votes for two          different candidates running for the same office. Voters              must also be told if a misvote will void their ballot.

   8. Voting systems to leave a record that can be audited.

   9. Voting systems to leave a permanent paper record that can        be used as an official record should a recount become                necessary.

 10. States, in some cases, provide ballots for voters who don't          speak English.

 11. States to create and maintain electronic voter registration            databases and improve efforts to remove ineligible voters            from the registration rolls.

 12. States to offer sample ballots for voters to review before the        date of the election.

 13. Absentee voters to provide copies of IDs or an ID number          for voter verification, but states must maintain the secrecy          of the vote.