To ensure that the State has maximum flexibility in how it spends the remaining HAVA funds, the Office should do the following:
Formally renegotiate its agreement with Justice by discussing the need to pursue VoteCal and obtaining clarity as to what aspect of the current CalVoter system, if any, does not meet HAVA's requirements.
Report, by December 2013, the results of these discussions with Justice to the Legislature. If the Office continues to believe it is compliant with Title III requirements, it should take the necessary steps to maximize the Legislature's flexibility to decide how best to appropriate remaining HAVA funds.
On January 29, 2014, the SOS received a letter from the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) regarding the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). In that communication, the USDOJ indicated that it is unwilling to renegotiate the MOA and that it should remain in place until such time as the VoteCal system is completely implemented. A copy of the USDOJs letter was provided to Grant Parks, Audit Principal, at GrantP@auditor.ca.gov on January 30, 2014.
The SOS provided the recommended report to the Legislature regarding the status of discussions with the USDOJ on December 31, 2013. A copy of the letter was provided to Grant Parks, Audit Principal, at GrantP@auditor.ca.gov on January 7, 2014. In addition, on February 5, 2014, the SOS provided an update to the Legislature and enclosed a copy of the USDOJs correspondence dated January 28, 2014. A copy of this letter will be provided to Grant Parks, Audit Principal, at GrantP@auditor.ca.gov.
The SOS has made several attempts to discuss its Memorandum of Agreement with the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) regarding CalVoter and VoteCal. Specifically, the SOS initiated communication with the USDOJ via email on August 12, 2013, and sent a letter dated October 2, 2013, requesting the USDOJ contact the SOS to discuss the Auditor's recommendations. A copy of the October 2, 2013, correspondence will be sent directly to Grant Parks, Audit Principal, at GrantP@auditor.ca.gov. The SOS will continue to attempt to engage the USDOJ on this subject. The SOS will also provide the recommended report to the Legislature regarding the status of discussions with the USDOJ by December 2013.
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.