San Mateo County received $142,500 from HAVA to improve accessibility

This week Secretary of State Debra Bowen notified San Mateo County that the grant request we submitted in January for Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funding was approved for $142,500.  This is the first time that HAVA grants have been awarded on a competitive basis so we were keeping our fingers crossed.  We worked with local leaders from the Commission on Disabilities who have advised us in the past on matters from selecting voting equipment, to creating brochures and siting the Universal Voting Centers in the November 2006 election to incorporate their ideas with ours and create the Accessibility Program that this money will fund.  It will fund improvements in election officer training and projects that will ensure equal opportunity and access information for voters with disabilities. About half of the funds will go toward a project to re-survey all 250 polling locations in the County to determine accessibility levels and identify and purchase one-day (or permanent) mitigations to improve accessibility.  And a portion of the funds will go toward the production of  posters, ads, paratransit outreach and the creation of some closed-caption videos to air on public access channels, YouTube and our website.  Great stuff!

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