Tuesday, May 01, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sandy Wayland
MDERC DEMANDS THAT FLORIDA SECRETARY OF STATE ACCOUNT FOR HAVA FUNDS GIVEN
TO STATE IN 2003
The Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition is demanding that Secretary of
State Kurt Browning to account for millions of dollars given to the State of
Florida in 2003, under the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).
"Those funds were supposed to have been distributed 100% to Florida's
counties to reimburse them for replacing of their outdated punch card
systems. Now we find out that according to the Secretary of State in his
testimony before the Elections Assistance Commission that only 20% of the
funds were given out to the counties and that the Secretary of State's
Office secreted away the remaining 80%," stated Sandy Wayland, President of
According to Wayland, the issue of the withheld funds came to light during a
hearing held earlier today before the U.S. Election Assistance Commission in
Washington, D.C. "The purpose of the hearing was for the EAC to determine
whether the State of Florida could use "HAVA funds" to purchase the new
optical scan voting systems being proposed by the Governor and the Florida
legislature, stated Wayland. "But lo' and behold, it comes out for the
first time that the Secretary of State's Office intentionally withheld funds
that were supposed to reimburse the counties for getting rid of punch cards,
and it put away that money without anyone knowing," Wayland concluded.
According to MDERC, the secreted funds appear to exceed $40,000,000. "We
are calling on Secretary of State Kurt Browning to publicly account for the
monies in question and to fully reimburse the counties for the replacement
of their punch card systems because that's what that money is for," demanded
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