HAVA funds for GIS

In March 2018, funding was renewed for the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. Then, in December 2019, Congress approved an additional $425 million in new federal election security funds. States now have a second opportunity to access federal funding for the modernization of their voting systems. 

In any current effort by states to upgrade their voter registration systems, it is critical that the capability to leverage geographic information systems (GIS) data for voter location and voting unit boundaries be included. This can be accomplished through careful wording of requests-for-proposals (RFPs) for new systems. 

THE RIGHT LANGUAGE IN RFPs CAN ENABLE GIS IN ELECTIONS

Ensuring that new voter registration systems can use GIS sets a state up for greater accuracy and efficiency in voter management in the future. Conversely, purchasing a new system without that capability could lock a state into outdated list-file technology for years, if not decades, to come, and likely will expose them to greater risk for future election errors.

To learn how to “future proof” a new voter management system by ensuring that it is ready for GIS data, you may view these sample RFPs:

  • Washington state RFP (GIS elements are highlighted in yellow)
  • Washington state RFP exhibit – GIS details
  • North Carolina RFP* (GIS elements are highlighted in yellow)

*Please note that the North Carolina RFP was never issued, as the state chose in-house implementation of GIS in elections.

For more information, contact Jamie Chesser at jamie.chesser@nsgic.org.

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