In October 2002, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), creating sweeping reforms to the nation's voting process. HAVA addressed improvements to voting systems and voter access that were identified following the 2000 election.
HAVA created new mandatory minimum standards for states to follow in several key areas of election administration. The law also provided funding to help states meet these new standards, replace voting systems and improve election administration.
HAVA requires states to implement new programs and procedures:
- Provisional Voting
- Voting Information
- Updated and Upgraded Voting Equipment
- Statewide Voter Registration Databases
- Voter Identification Procedures
- Administrative Complaint Procedures
HAVA also established the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to assist the states regarding HAVA compliance and to distribute HAVA funds to the states. EAC is also responsible for creating voting system guidelines and operating the federal government's first voting system certification program.
This page provides information about how the state of Wisconsin -- through the Wisconsin Elections Commission (and the former State Elections Board and Government Accountability Board) -- implemented HAVA, as well as the state's stewardship of the $56 million in federal grants awarded under HAVA.