Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
Webpage last update: December 5, 2023
The Help America Vote Act was signed into law in 2002. HAVA established a program to provide federal funds to states and territories to upgrade voting systems and improve the administration of federal elections. The law also mandated the creation of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to administer the HAVA grant programs. At the state level, the financial administrative unit of the Division of Elections administers federal grants awarded to the State for election purposes.
Since 2003, Florida has received federal grants totaling $235,716,643, as follows:
- $14,447,580 (2003): Funds were awarded under Section 101 of the Help America Vote Act for the purpose of funding States’ efforts to comply with Title III of HAVA and to carry out activities that improve the administration of federal elections. The law mandated federal election requirements for purposes of receiving money such as the replacement of outdated voting equipment, the creation of centralized statewide databases of registered voters, and improvements to the administration of elections.
- $11,581,377 (2003): Funds were awarded under Section 102 of the Help America Vote Act for the same purpose as Section 101 fund stated above.
- $148,633,048 (2003-2011): Funds were awarded under Section 251 of the Help America Vote Act /Section 251 for the same purpose as Sections 101 and 102 fund awards stated above.
- $20,253,853 (2020): Funds were awarded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 to authorize States to spend the funds to "prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, for the 2020 Federal election cycle.”
- $40,800,785 (2018-2020): Congress appropriated election security funds under the Omnibus Appropriation Act of 2018 to award to States “to improve election administration for federal offices, enhance technology and make security improvements”. In 2020, Congress awarded more election security funds under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 "to improve the administration of elections for Federal office, including to enhance election technology and make election security improvements, as authorized under sections 101, 103, and 104 of [HAVA]." In total, Florida received $19,187,003 and $21,613,782 in 2018 and 2020, respectively.
Federal Subgrant Awards to Counties
Although the funds awarded to the State are federal, the Department of State must submit a budget request to the State Legislature. A specific state legislative appropriation is required to authorize the release of these federal funds to support any portion of the federal subgrant program to counties. Counties are then allowed to spend the funds pursuant to the terms of a memorandum of agreement.
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- Federal HAVA (Public Law 107-252, 52 U.S. C. Chapter 209)
- HAVA Complaint Form (DS – DE 59)
- The HAVA complaint form is for persons who believe that a violation of Title III of HAVA has occurred, is occurring or is about to occur relating to voting system standards, provisional ballot voting, registration under the statewide voter registration system, or registration by mail.
- English PDF
- Español PDF
- US Elections Assistance Commission
- HAVA State Plan
- Under the Help America Vote Act, the State must submit a plan for how the State will or expects to spend federal funds to satisfy the requirements of the Act. Once submitted to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the Plan must be updated and resubmitted every time a material change occurs. The Secretary of State is the chief election official for Florida responsible for developing and amending the Plan. The HAVA State Plan as updated was submitted to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission on May 12, 2009. These 2009 Updates replace the version of the elements that exist in the 2006 HAVA State Plan.
- 2009 Updates to 2006 HAVA State Plan
- 2006 HAVA State Plan - PDF