Excerpt from Majority Leader Daschle's Regular Press Briefing on February 14, 2002, with Sen. Chris Dodd.

....QUESTION: Senator Dodd, can you talk a little bit about the differences between your bill and what passed by the House?

DODD: Well, first, let me commend Steny Hoyer and Congressman Ney. They did a very good job in the House bill. There's one fundamental difference, I suppose, or two. One is that we set some national minimum standards that say that people who are disabled, blind, are going to be able to vote in private, independently, and we set out the means of how you accomplish those goals. We set the minimum standard of provisional voting across the country, as well as the minimum standard of statewide voter registration, dealing with some of the anti-fraud provisions. We provide the resources, a 100 percent funding. One of the complaints from states and localities in the past is unfunded mandates. One of their fears about the bill is that we had set up a lot of criteria that would cost states and localities resources. Under our proposal, we provide 100 percent financing for those minimum requirements. We also provide $100 million in grant monies to make voting places, polling places, accessible. We were sort of stunned to find this out from the GAO, that as many as 57 percent of polling places were inaccessible to people with disabilities. Those are the major differences, if you will, between the two bills. We expand the area into the disabled community, and we set minimum standards, and we provide 100 percent financing. I want to thank the president for putting in his budget--whatever other complaints we may have about the budget, he put $1.2 billion in this budget for this bill. And that's before it's become law.  I mean, he might have very well have said, ``Why don't you get it done up there and come and talk to me.'' Instead, he's put more that a third of what we think is necessary over the next three or four years to fund this bill. And that's going to be a great help, I think an incentive, to get the legislation done and could actually mean, if we can resolve our differences--and I've talked with Congressman Hoyer and I think we can--we could actually make grant money available this year to states and localities to make improvements in their voting systems and thus enhance the people's right to vote andhave their vote counted in the 2002 elections.