HAVA funds for GIS

In March 2018, funding was renewed for the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. This marks the first time since 2010 that federal grant funding has been available for states committed to securing and improving their election systems.

With dozens of states now in the process of using this funding to upgrade their voter registration systems, it is critical that they include the capability to leverage geographic information systems (GIS) data for voter location and voting unit boundaries in any 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 Conversely, purchasing a new system without that capability could lock a state into outdated list-file technology for years, if not decades, to come, and likely will expose them to greater risk for future election errors.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.