Posted on February 10, 2017
The House Committee on Administration voted this week to advance H.R. 634, the Election Assistance Commission Termination Act, to consideration by Congress. The bill proposes eliminating the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which was set up in the wake of the 2000 election when ballot design and machine flaws in Florida delayed results and famously led to the Supreme Court stepping in to halt recounts in the state.
The EAC was designed to safeguard against these sorts of catastrophic failures in the infrastructure of our democracy, by gathering election administration best practices from across the nation, setting standards for election equipment, and serving as a gathering point for election administrators from all corners of the United States. This past election season the EAC served a central role in providing cybersecurity support to election administrators across the country, in the wake of the hacking of the DNC and voter registration systems in Illinois and Arizona. If the EAC is eliminated, its responsibilities will be reassigned to the Federal Elections Commission and the Office of Management and Budget.
FairVote and the Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center submitted a letter to the Committee, urging its nine members to vote against the bill. Now that it has passed out of committee, the bill will travel to the House floor for debate and a vote.