Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Don Owens, Deputy Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7767
dowens@citizen.org

Karilyn Gower, Press Officer
w. (202) 588-7779
kgower@citizen.org

David Rosen, Press Officer, Regulatory Affairs
w. (202) 588-7742
drosen@citizen.org

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog
Facebook/publiccitizen

Follow us on Twitter

 

April 7, 2014

Civic Organizations Call on Congress to Restore Election Assistance Commission to Full Strength

Senate Rules and Administration Committee Must Move Forward With Confirmation of Commissioners

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A diverse coalition of 16 civil rights, voting rights and campaign finance groups today called on congressional leaders to recommend two Republicans for the president to nominate to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Two Democrats already have been nominated. The groups urge the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration to move ahead with the confirmation process of these nominees.

The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) was created by Congress under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 to help prevent meltdowns of our electoral process as occurred in the 2000 presidential election. The EAC is an independent, bipartisan federal commission charged with making our elections run smoothly. But the agency has foundered in recent years because all four seats of the commission have been left vacant.

On Wednesday, the Senate Rules and Administration Committee will hold a hearing on two Democratic nominees – Thomas Hicks and Myrna Perez – who have been awaiting confirmation since March 2010 and 2011, respectively. Congressional Republican leaders also should offer two equally capable nominees. And the Senate needs to move forward expeditiously with the confirmation process.

As the coalition letter to the Senate Rules Committee notes:

“The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) was created by Congress under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 to help prevent meltdowns of our electoral process like the embarrassing episode experienced in the 2000 presidential election. The EAC is an independent, bipartisan federal commission charged with making our elections run smoothly. … This important work is now being gravely undermined by the inability of congressional leaders in the House and Senate to agree on a full slate of nominees to the Commission and the reluctance of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee to move forward with the confirmation process.”

The organizations calling for Congress to restore the EAC include: American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC); Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ); Campaign Legal Center; Carlin Meyer, Prof. & Director, Diane Abbey Law Center for Children and Families, New York Law School; Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW); Common Cause; Communications Workers of America (CWA); Democracy 21; Demos; FairVote; Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF); NAACP; National Disability Rights Network; Prison Policy Initiative; Project Vote; and Public Citizen.

The letter concludes:

“We can end the long lines at the polls. We can develop modern voting machines that work. And we can learn from state and local election experiences how to make elections and voting an efficient part of our democracy. To do so, we need an Election Assistance Commission that is fully staffed and operational.”

The organizations call upon congressional leaders, the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, and the Senate to take all necessary steps to restore the Election Assistance Commission to its full strength.

Read the letter (PDF).

###

Copyright © 2016 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.


Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

You can support the fight for greater government and corporate accountability through a donation to either Public Citizen, Inc., or Public Citizen Foundation, Inc.

Public Citizen lobbies Congress and federal agencies to advance Public Citizen’s mission of advancing government and corporate accountability. When you make a contribution to Public Citizen, you become a member of Public Citizen, showing your support and entitling you to benefits such as Public Citizen News. Contributions to Public Citizen are not tax-deductible.

Public Citizen Foundation focuses on research, public education, and litigation in support of our mission. By law, the Foundation can engage in only very limited lobbying. Contributions to Public Citizen Foundation are tax-deductible.