The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA, P.L. 107-252) was enacted in October 2002.

HAVA imposed a number of requirements on the states with respect to election administration, provided payments to the states to meet the new requirements, created the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), made changes to improve military and overseas voting, and authorized other election reform activities.


Among its major provisions, HAVA did the following:

• created the EAC, an independent, bipartisan agency to carry out grant programs, provide for testing and certification of votingsystems, study election issues, and issue guidelines for voting systems and the act’s requirements

• established a number of payment and grant programs to help states meet the law’s requirements; replace punchcard and lever voting machines and make general election improvements; promote accessibility in the electoral process; promote student participation; and support pilot programs

• established requirements in the states to provide a provisional ballot to a voter who is not on the registration list or whose registration is in question; post a sample ballot and voter information at polling places on election day; impose anidentification standard for first-time voters who register by mail; provide for voter error correction on voting systems used in federal elections; provide for manual auditing of the voting system, alternative-language accessibility, and at least one machine per voting place that can provide disability access; and create and maintain a computerized, verified statewide voter registration list

• required the EAC to develop voting system guidelines for computer hardware

and software for voluntarily use by the states, and voluntary guidance to assist

states in meeting the requirements

• amended the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act(UOCAVA) to make improvements to voting procedures for members of the military and overseas citizens.      


At the time of passage of HAVA, North Carolina had already had provisional voting and a statewide voter registration database in place.