PVA Seeks Full Funding of 'Help America Vote Act'


WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 /U.S. Newswire/ -- In a letter sent to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) calls for the full funding of the "Help America Vote Act," (P.L. 107-252). Enacted into law last year, the Act mandates that state and local governments modernize their voting systems.

PVA joined numerous other civil rights organizations in signing the letter sent to Capitol Hill.

Although Congress set an authorized funding level of $3.9 billion over three fiscal years, to date it has not appropriated any funding whatsoever. Consequently, the Act's intended benefit-to enable all eligible voters with disabilities the opportunity to actually vote-has been thwarted by the lack of a congressional appropriation.

The Act protects the voting rights of all Americans by:

-- Making polling places accessible to people with disabilities;

-- Creating statewide voter registration databases that can be more effectively managed and updated;

-- Improving ballot review procedures by allowing voters to ensure that the ballots they cast are accurate;

-- Creating provisional balloting systems to guarantee that no eligible voter is ever turned away at the polls;

-- Replacing outdate voting systems; and

-- Educating voters on voting procedures as well as their rights.

"Congress must provide the funding now to implement the 'Help America Vote Act,' said Joseph L. Fox, Sr., PVA national president. "Veterans have served and sacrificed to protect the rights of all Americans, including those with disabilities, and the appropriation of funds to implement the Act will guarantee the exercise of voting rights."

The Paralyzed Veterans of America, a veterans service organization chartered by Congress, has for more than 55 years served the needs of its members, all of whom have catastrophic paralysis caused by spinal cord injury or disease. To learn more about PVA, visit its web site at http://www.pva.org.

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Contact: David J. Uchic of Paralyzed Veterans of America, 202-416-7667

01/17 10:58