August 4, 2003
Contact: Anne Martens
Secretary of State Names Frank Garcia HAVA Manager
SALEM - Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury announces the appointment of Frank Garcia, Jr. to implement and manage the requirements of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 ("HAVA"). Prompted by the error-plagued Presidential election of 2000, HAVA requires comprehensive state improvement of voting systems and operations. Under HAVA, Oregon will:
- Create a single centralized voter registration system;
- Abolish the use of punchcards for voting;
- Improve access, privacy and independence for voters with disabilities through the use of electronic voting devices;
- Provide better information on how to mark and correct ballots and request replacement ballots;
- Allow voters to cast provisional ballots and determine the status of those ballots;
- Install a single toll-free telephone line that voters can call with questions, to check on the status of a ballot, or to be connected to a county elections office;
- Provide a formal procedure for complaints about compliance with the Act.
"Frank is an excellent choice. He is both familiar with and committed to the election improvements of HAVA," says Director of Elections John Lindback. Garcia is an Oregon native who grew up in Dayton, received his Bachelors degree in Sociology from Portland State University and his Masters in Higher Education Administration from New York University; he is also the co-founder of the Oregon Latino Voter Registration Education Project. Straightforward and easy going, Garcia is a natural consensus-builder.
In his former role as Manager of Executive Recruitment & Diversity Programs at the Oregon Department of Administrative Services, Garcia served with County Elections Clerks, State Legislators, and other interested parties on the HAVA Steering Committee. He was attracted to HAVA because of its importance to voters and the need to avoid a repeat of the "hanging chad" debacle.
"It is an honor and a privilege to hold this position," said Garcia, "our goal in administering HAVA is to ensure elections access and participation by all communities, regardless of the obstacles or challenges they might face, so that they come away from the process feeling that it is open, inclusive and fair."
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