IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MAINE
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 06-86-B-W
STATE OF MAINE, and MATTHEW
DUNLAP, Secretary of State, in his official
CONSENT DECREE, JUDGMENT, and ORDER
The United States filed its Complaint in
this action on this date pursuant to Section 401 of the Help America Vote Act ("HAVA"),
42 U.S.C. § 15511 and Section 11(a) of the National Voter Registration Act ("NVRA"),
42 U.S.C. § 1973gg-9(a), alleging that Defendants violated HAVA and the
NVRA by failing to comply with Sections 301 and 303(a) of HAVA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 15481,
15483(a), and Section 8 of the NVRA, 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg-6 ("Section 8").
Specifically, the United States alleges that Defendants: 1) have violated Section 301
of HAVA,42 U.S.C. § 15481 ("Section 301"), by not having in place on January 1, 2006,
voting systems for use in federal elections that comply with the accessible voting
system standards set forth in that Section; 2) have violated Section 303(a) of HAVA,
42 U.S.C. § 15483(a) ("Section 303(a)"), by not having fully developed and
implemented a computerized statewide voter registration list meeting the requirements
of that Section; and 3) have violated Section 8 of the NVRA by failing to ensure that
local registrars eliminated duplication in voter registration records across municipal
jurisdictions in elections for federal office.
Defendants admit that, in part because the
State's original computerized statewide voter registration system ("CVR") vendor
failed to perform its obligations under its contract with the Secretary of State,
Maine did not have a completed HAVA-compliant computerized statewide voter registration
system in place by January 1, 2006, and did not have accessible voting equipment in
each polling place as of January 1, 2006, as required by sections 301 and 303(a) of
HAVA. With respect to the list maintenance requirements of Section 8 of the NVRA,
Defendants acknowledge that the current decentralized system of 503 separate voter
registration lists maintained by local registrars does not provide adequate means of
identifying voter records of ineligible voters among those lists.
The parties are desirous of resolving this
matter without the need for litigation. Accordingly, the parties have engaged in
extensive good faith negotiations and have agreed to the terms and requirements of
this Consent Decree as an appropriate resolution of all claims alleged in this litigation.
Defendants are committed to comply fully with all of such terms and requirements in
future elections and agree that the steps they have committed to undertake as set
forth in this Decree and Attachment A are necessary to achieve full compliance with Sections
301 and 303(a) of HAVA and to automate list maintenance practices under Section 8 of the
NVRA. This agreement is final and binding between the parties, their successors in
office, and their agents regarding the claims raised in this action.
Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED
and DECREED that:
1. Defendants are enjoined to
take the actions specified below to comply fully with Sections 301 and 303(a) of
the Help America Vote Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 15481, 15483(a), and Section 8 of
the National Voter Registration Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg-6.
COMPLIANCE WITH VOTING SYSTEM STANDARDS
OF SECTION 301 OF HAVA
2. In order to bring the State
of Maine (hereinafter referred to as "the State") into full compliance with the
voting system requirements for accessibility set forth in Section 301, Defendants
shall take such actions as are necessary and reasonably within their control to ensure
the most timely completion of the contracting and other processes necessary to enable
a vendor to deliver new HAVA-compliant accessible voting equipment in time for set-up,
training of election officials and voters and use by the November 2006 election.
Defendants shall ensure that there are sufficient staff and resources to meet the State's
obligations under HAVA and this order. Further, the State shall take the following
actions according to the prescribed timetable:
(a) Contract - The State will finalize a contract with its selected
vendor of accessible voting equipment, IVS LLC. The contract shall specify the vendor's
obligations to set up a central server to be managed by the State that will be capable
of processing telephone calls from every polling place on election day, reading the
appropriate ballot to each voter who wishes to use the equipment, and faxing a printed
ballot reflecting that voter's choices back to the appropriate polling place. Defendants
shall submit a copy of the final approved contract with IVS to the Department within
three days after it is executed, as referenced in Attachment A;
(b) Ancillary Equipment - Defendants shall supply a telephone,
facsimile machine and any wiring that may be needed for installation of this equipment
to each polling place in the State prior to election day to be used for this purpose.
This equipment shall be purchased, deployed and installed in accordance with a plan
and schedule to be submitted to the Department by Defendants as referenced in Attachment A;
(c) Training of Local Election Officials - Defendants shall develop, and
implement prior to the November 2006 general election, a comprehensive training program for
elections staff in each local jurisdiction on the proper handling and use of the new
accessible voting system and on the uniform definition of what constitutes a vote. Such
training shall be conducted by Elections Division of the Maine Secretary of State's
Office (hereinafter "Elections Division") and appropriate vendor staff and shall
continue as necessary up to the time of the November 2006 general election. No later
than September 8, 2006, the Elections Division shall provide the Department with a
complete description and schedule for such training program as referenced in Attachment A;
(d) Voter Education Program - The Elections Division, in conjunction with
representatives of the disability community, shall develop and implement before the November
2006 general election, an education and outreach program for voters with disabilities on the
proper use of new accessible voting systems, including an explanation of how the ballot
will be marked to reflect their choices. Such education program shall be conducted by
Elections Division staff, or their agents, and shall continue as necessary up to the time
of the November 2006 general election. In developing such program, the Elections
Division shall consider, among other things, the use of direct mail, the State's
eDemocracy website, public service announcements on television and radio and local
community public appearances and events, and outreach directed to local community and
disability groups. No later than September 8, 2006, the Elections Division shall
provide the Department with a plan and schedule for the voter education and outreach
program, as referenced in Attachment A.
COMPLIANCE WITH STATEWIDE VOTER REGISTRATION LIST REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 303(a) OF HAVA
3. Defendants have already contracted for the development and implementation
of a CVR that will meet the requirements set forth in Section 303(a) of HAVA. The
State's current software vendor is in the final stages of correcting software code
defects and developing data conversion tools and methods that will be employed to
transfer voter registration data currently maintained by 503 separate local jurisdictions
into a central, unified, statewide database. The significant steps that remain to be
accomplished for data conversion, testing and final implementation of a fully functional
CVR are outlined in a plan submitted by the Defendants to the Department and attached
hereto as Attachment A. Defendants shall take all actions necessary to develop and
implement by the dates set forth in Attachment A, a computerized statewide voter
4. If the Secretary of State, or this Court, determines that any new or amended
regulations are necessary to implement fully the computerized statewide voter registration
list, Defendants shall promulgate such regulations, pursuant to authority in ME.
REV. STAT. ANN. tit. 21-A, § 194 and in accordance with the Maine Administrative
Procedure Act, ME. REV. STAT. ANN. tit. 5, §§ 8001 et seq.
5. Upon full implementation, the statewide voter registration list, among
(a) shall include an appropriate interface between the State motor vehicle
authority and the federal Social Security Administration ("SSA"), as required by Section
303(a)(5)(B)(ii) of HAVA, 42 U.S.C. § 15483(a)(5)(B)(ii), in order to conduct
the verification of voter registration information required by Section 303(a)(5)(A) of
HAVA, 42 U.S.C. § 15483(a)(5)(A);
(b) shall serve as the single statewide voter registration system for storing and
managing the official list of registered voters throughout the State;
(c) shall be able to generate a computerized statewide voter registration
list that is single, uniform, official, centralized, interactive, defined, maintained
and administered at the State level, which contains the name and registration information
of every legally registered voter in the State, and which shall be the official voter
registration list for the conduct of all federal, state and local elections in the
(d) shall assign a unique identifier to every registered voter in the State;
(e) shall maintain one record for each registered voter in the State, including
the statewide unique identifier, entire history (including voting history, previous names,
etc.) and current status of that voter;
(f) shall ensure that all data in the system complies with the data standards
established by the Elections Division for the database;
(g) shall ensure that all municipal election officials directly interface
with the statewide voter registration database to enter all voter registration
information into the computerized statewide voter registration list on an expedited
basis at the time the information is provided to the municipal official;
(h) shall indicate if a voter is a first time voter within the State with
no verified identification and flag that voter as requiring identification in order
(i) shall conduct periodic checks to determine the existence of duplicate
registrations in the system;
(j) shall be coordinated with the state motor vehicle authority, the
federal Social Security Administration, and appropriate state agencies that keep
records of deaths in order to conduct verification of voter registration information
and perform voter registration list maintenance functions as required by HAVA and the NVRA;
(k) shall provide for state monitoring of actions taken by municipal
registrars and election officials for compliance with the statutes and regulations
governing the CVR.
6. Defendants shall develop and implement a comprehensive training program for
elections staff in each local jurisdiction on the proper use of the CVR, including how it
shall be used to conduct proper list maintenance under Section 8 of the NVRA. No later
than August 14, 2006, the Elections Division shall provide the Department with a
complete description and schedule for such training program.
COMPLIANCE WITH VOTER REGISTRATION LIST MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 8 OF THE NVRA
7. Defendants shall ensure that the Elections Division has sufficient staff
and resources to meet its obligations under the NVRA and this order. The computerized
statewide voter registration system that is currently being developed and implemented
is designed to identify and remove duplicate and deceased voter records from among
the 503 separate local jurisdictions and to automate list maintenance practices
under Section 8 of the NVRA. The Elections Division shall take the following steps:
(a) perform procedures to identify and resolve voter records of ineligible
voters no later than March 31, 2007. A certificate of completion shall be provided to
the United States within ten days after each process is completed;
(b) notify local registrars of potential duplicate voter records, records of
deceased individuals from the Bureau of Vital Statistics, and change of address
notifications from the State's motor vehicle authority. This shall be done on a
monthly basis after completion of subparagraph (a) above, and shall begin no later
than April, 2007;
(c) by the end of June, 2007, perform a match against the U.S. Postal Service
National Change of Address ("NCOA") program for all registered voters who did not
participate in the November 2006 election and whose records have not been cancelled as
the result of resolving duplications and checking deceased voter records pursuant to
subparagraph (b) above; and by the end of June 2009, ensure that a process of confirming
voter registration records is performed statewide, using either (i) the two-step mailing
process provided by state regulations, or (ii) matching data against the U.S. Postal
Service National Change of Address ("NCOA") program, and that the information generated
by the NCOA or two-step mail matching program is forwarded to local registrars for
purposes of sending the confirmation mailing and/or updating the voter registration
rolls in a manner consistent with Section 8 of the NVRA; and
(d) monitor the voter registration list maintenance activities conducted by
local election officials, and require corrective action whenever compliance issues are
(e) maintain records of the compliance issues detected by such methods and the
corrective actions taken.
The Elections Division will utilize the CVR to carry out the steps described in
subparagraphs (a) through (d) above.
8. As noted in paragraph 6 above, local election officials will be trained
prior to November 2006 in how to use the CVR to conduct proper list maintenance under
Section 8 of the NVRA. In addition, the Elections Division shall continue to provide
annual training for local elections officials in proper list maintenance procedures
in accordance with Section 8 of the NVRA.
COMPLIANCE MONITORING AND RECORDKEEPING
9. Defendants shall take the following actions to advise the United States
of the State's progress in carrying out the terms of this Decree:
(a) report to the United States according to the terms and schedule set forth in
Attachment A concerning progress in achieving full compliance with HAVA under the terms of
this Decree, in writing (by e-mail or overnight delivery), or by telephone;
(b) report to the United States on or before June 30, 2007, concerning the
monitoring of on-going list maintenance activities under Section 8 of the NVRA, described in
subparagraphs 7(d) and (e) above;
(c) report to the United States in July 2007 and again in January 2009, for
each of Maine's local election jurisdictions: 1) the number of registered voters
(including total, active, inactive, cancelled, or other status); 2) how many registrants
have been sent address verification notices; 3) how many registrants have been sent
change of address confirmation mailings; 4) how many registrants have been placed on
inactive status; and 5) how many registrants have been removed for ineligibility and
the basis for that removal;
(d) provide notice to the United States within 24 hours in writing (by e-mail or
overnight delivery) as well as by telephone or other personal contact with one of the
individuals listed in paragraph 13 below, of any occurrence known to the Elections
Division which may give rise to noncompliance with any term of this Decree or with any
reporting obligations or deadlines set forth in Attachment A hereto, and include a
summary of the nature and causes of such noncompliance, and within 72 hours of said
notice, provide a summary of the corrective actions Defendants propose to implement.
10. Defendants shall retain any and all records concerning the subject matter
of this Decree during the term of this Decree. The United States shall have access to
all such records within a reasonable period of time, but no later than three business
days after request. Defendants shall make appropriate State personnel available to the
United States at any and all reasonable times in order to answer questions and provide
information concerning compliance issues which arise during the term of this Decree.
11. Defendants shall retain, or require municipal officials to retain, voter
registration and list maintenance records related to the terms of this decree and as
set forth in 42 U.S.C. § 1974. The Elections Division shall also retain the
training materials referenced above for a period of 22 months. The State shall make
these records and any reports that may be generated from the CVR available to counsel
for the United States upon request.
12. If at any time the United States obtains information that Defendants are
or are about to be in breach of any of the terms of this Decree, the United States shall
advise Defendants in writing by notice sent to the Elections Division by e-mail or
overnight delivery, and facsimile. Defendants shall have three business days following
transmission of such notice to respond in writing (by e-mail or overnight delivery, and
facsimile) to the United States. The parties shall thereafter immediately attempt to
resolve any issue of potential noncompliance. If the parties are unable to agree on a
resolution of the issue, either party may bring the matter before the Court for
appropriate resolution. Nothing in this Agreement shall otherwise prevent the United
States from taking any actions required to enforce any and all provisions of HAVA or
the NVRA other than those which are the subject of this action.
13. Any notices sent by the respective parties pursuant to provisions of
this Decree shall be sent to:
For the United States:
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Room 7254-NWB
Washington, D.C. 20530
Phone: (800) 253-3931
Fax: (202) 307-3961
For the Defendants:
Deputy Secretary of State
Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0101
Phone: (207) 624-7650
Fax: (207) 287-5428
Agreed to this 28th day of July, 2006.
AGREED AND CONSENTED TO:
Assistant Attorney General
United States Attorney
Chief, Voting Section
Special Litigation Counsel
NICOLE S. MARRONE
SEAN W. O'DONNELL
United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division, Voting Section
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Room NWB-7254
Washington, D.C. 20530
Telephone: (202) 305-0827
Facsimile: (202) 307-3961
Attorneys for United States of America
For the Defendants:
Secretary of State
148 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333
Phone: (207) 626-8400
Fax: (207) 287-8598
Assistant Attorney General
Maine Bar No. 2809
6 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333
Phone: (207) 626-8800
Fax: (207) 287-3145
Counsel for the Defendants
JUDGMENT AND ORDER
This Court, having considered the United States' claim under Sections 301 and 303(a) of
the Help America Vote Act of 2002, 42 U.S.C. §§ 15481 and 15483(a), and
Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg-6,
and having determined that it has jurisdiction over this claim, has considered the
terms of the Consent Decree, and hereby enters the relief set forth above and
incorporates those terms herein. The provisions of this Decree shall expire on
December 31, 2009. The Court retains jurisdiction of this action to enforce the terms
of this Decree during the effective period of this Decree.
ENTERED and ORDERED this _1st__ day of __August__, 2006.
JOHN A. WOODCOCK, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
In order to achieve full compliance with the requirements of HAVA Sections 301 and
303(a), the State of Maine, acting by and through the Department of the Secretary of State
(hereafter "the State"), agrees to undertake the following steps and to submit the following
reports, plans, and schedules to the United States Department of Justice ("USDOJ"),
pursuant to the terms of the Consent Decree, dated July _28__, 2006 and entered in
Civil Action No. _06-86-B-W_. The USDOJ recognizes the complexity and difficulty of
dealing with and relying upon 503 separate and independent local jurisdictions and
various private vendors to accomplish all of these steps, and recognizes that problems
may arise that are due to no fault of the State.
CENTRAL VOTER REGISTRATION SYSTEM
1. The State will start regression testing of the ElectioNet software
application by July 28, 2006, provided that its vendor, PCC Technology Group, has
completed final correction of all application anomalies and release of the
production-ready application in accordance with the terms of its contract with the
State by July 26, 2006.
The State will notify USDOJ when regression testing starts.
Within 5 business days of completion, the State will submit to the USDOJ a certificate of
completion of the testing indicating whether the application is ready for roll-out or
whether there are any remaining anomalies that would prevent placing the system into
production, and, if so, a schedule for correction of those anomalies by PCC.
2. Local jurisdictions will begin converting the voter registration
data in their existing electronic or paper systems into the CVR by mid-July and will
complete that process by October 18, 2006, according to a roll-out schedule to be
finalized by August 14, 2006.
By August 14, 2006, the State will submit to the USDOJ a roll-out schedule showing, for
each group of municipalities, the method or type of data conversion to be employed, the
time frame to complete data conversion, and the date each group is scheduled to go live
with the CVR.
3. The training manual for election officials for use of the CVR
and ElectioNet software will be revised to reflect the correction of all application
anomalies that PCC is currently fixing, pursuant to its contract with the State, by
August 14, 2006.
By August 14, 2006, the State will submit to the USDOJ a copy of the final CVR Users
Guide for election officials.
4. Training for local registrars and election officials in the
use of the CVR will be conducted in small groups, in person and in regional computer
labs, according to a schedule to be developed by August 14, 2006.
By August 14, 2006, the State will submit to the USDOJ a description and schedule for
on-site training of groups of local registrars and election officials.
In addition, the State will report completion of all training within 5 days of the last
5. A production pilot with a select group of approximately 15 cities
and towns, representing different types of legacy electronic voter registration systems
and paper based systems, will be conducted beginning no later than September 1, 2006,
provided that the regression testing and conversion steps described in paragraphs 1 and
2 above have been successfully completed. The pilot will involve testing the entire
CVR system with real voter registration data in a production-ready environment.
The State will notify USDOJ when the production pilot begins.
Within 5 business days of completion, the State will submit to the USDOJ a certificate of
completion of the pilot indicating whether the central server, local site equipment, and
software are functioning properly and, if not, a plan and schedule for corrective action.
6. A HAVA-compliant CVR will be fully implemented in time for
the November 7, 2006, general election. To this end, a fully HAVA-compliant CVR
software application will be completed by September 18, 2006, and all cities and
towns will go live on the HAVA-compliant CVR system according to a roll-out schedule,
to be completed by October 18, 2006.
Within 5 business days of full implementation of the CVR, the State will submit to the
USDOJ a certificate of full implementation indicating whether the central server, local
site equipment, and software are functioning properly and, if not, a plan and schedule for
ACCESSIBLE VOTING EQUIPMENT
7. The State will execute a contract with its selected vendor of
accessible voting equipment, IVS LLC, no later than August 14, 2006.
Within 3 days of signing a contract with IVS, the State will submit to the USDOJ a copy
of the final approved contract with IVS.
8. Training in the use of accessible voting equipment for local
election officials will be conducted beginning on September 18, 2006, according to a
schedule to be developed by September 8, 2006. These training sessions also will
include review of the State's Uniform Guidelines defining what constitutes a vote.
By September 8, 2006, the State will submit to the USDOJ a schedule for training all
local election officials in the use of the IVS.
9. The State will purchase telephones and fax machines for all
local jurisdictions (one per polling place) and deploy them by October 18, 2006.
Deployment will include installation of any wiring necessary for use of the equipment.
By September 8, 2006, the State will submit to the USDOJ a plan for the purchase,
deployment, and installation of all equipment required for IVS.
10. The State will coordinate with IVS to perform a pilot no later
than September 30, 2006, with a select group of municipalities to confirm the usability
and capacity of the accessible voting system. Following completion of this pilot
program, the State and IVS will undertake statewide testing of the usability of a
fully deployed accessible voting system.
Within 5 business days of completion of the pilot, the State will submit to the USDOJ a
certificate of completion of the pilot, with a description and time frames for any
corrective actions that may be necessary.
11. The State will design and implement a voter outreach and
education program to inform voters with disabilities regarding the availability and
use of this accessible voting equipment. This program will include use of the IVS
Preview and Practice system that allows voters to practice accessing the system from
their home telephones using a sample ballot.
By September 8, 2006, the State will submit to the USDOJ a plan for the outreach and
education program for voters with disabilities to be implemented prior to the November
2006 general election.
12. A HAVA-compliant, accessible voting system will be fully
implemented in time for the November 7, 2006 general election. To this end, site
equipment will be distributed to all local jurisdictions for use at each of their
polling places, and installation, programming and testing of the central server
will be completed by October 18, 2006.
Within 5 business days of completion of full implementation, the State will submit to the
USDOJ a certificate of completion of the full implementation, with a description and time
frames for any corrective actions that may be necessary.