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house Bill H.R. 195

Shutting Down the Election Assistance Commission

Argument in favor

The problems that the EAC was created to address have been fixed — making this organization superfluous. It’s also proven to be really bad with money — it's time to cut it.

Joe's Opinion
···
04/05/2015
It's not a good use of taxpayer money to try and get people to care about voting. We really have this kind of idle funding sitting around?
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Tracie's Opinion
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04/04/2015
I'm all for less government. If people take more responsibility for their own voting, maybe they'll value it more.
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Loraki's Opinion
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12/04/2016
The individual state Boards of Election should be able to do the work that the EAC supposedly does WITHOUT the federal government holding their hand. Moreover, the state BoEs are (or should be) more responsive to the will of the people who live in their state. WHY DO LIBERALS THINK THAT IT'S THE BUSINESS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO EDUCATE MINORITIES AND ENABLE THEM TO VOTE?! THIS IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STATES! I HOPE THAT THE DISSOLUTION OF THE EAC LEADS TO SEVERAL OTHER AGENCIES BEING CLOSED IN A MUCH NEEDED EFFORT TO SHRINK THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, REDUCE THE DEFICIT, AND RETURN POWER TO THE STATES AND THE PEOPLE!
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Argument opposed

With low voter turnout and the perpetual efforts to undermine the voting process, we need the EAC now more than ever. The EAC is now staffed by expert commissioners and deserves a chance to carry out its critical mission.

David's Opinion
···
04/04/2015
Shocker. A Republican proposing something that would reduce voter turnout. Never saw that one coming.
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Mathew's Opinion
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04/04/2015
Why would we remove something that gets people involved in the political process?
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Elinor's Opinion
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04/04/2015
We learned in elementary school about the importance of voting. There is no need to waste taxpayers' money on adults who don't know what an 11-year-old knows. Adults who are lazy, ignorant, indifferent, and/or disinterested don't need my money to encourage a vote from them. I am disgusted by all politicians who ignorantly and arrogantly believe taxpayers' money should be wasted on such social engineering. Another concern is that the political party in power can and WILL use taxpayers' money to encourage voters' actions from constituents who will support that party. I have no reason to believe that is not already a fact. Though this proposed bill will supposedly decrease federal expenditure by $40 millions, it is only a drop in the ocean. Where are our representatives who claim they want to make huge cuts in federal spending, especially federal wasteful spending? Their existence seems to be a myth.
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What is House Bill H.R. 195?

This bill seeks to trim the federal budget by cutting the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), a government body created in 2002 to carry out the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). It would do so by, well, telling it to close. 

The EAC wouldn’t just disappear in a puff of smoke and privatization. They would have 60 days after the bill's enactment to finish contracts that they were working on. During that 60 day period, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would be responsible for winding down the EAC’s contracts. 

Any outstanding judicial reviews, court orders or lawsuits against the organization would be allowed to continue. The rest of their responsibilities would be transferred to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). 

Impact

Voters, taxpayers, Election Assistance Commission employees, and their contracts, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Federal Election Commission.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 195

$0.00
A CBO cost estimate found that implementing this bill would reduce spending by $40 million over the 2016-2020 period.

More Information

Of Note: 

HAVA was passed in response to the 2000 presidential elections, which raised some concerns about election regulation — y’know, hanging chads, Al Gore, recounts, nine people voting for the president instead of 300 some odd million. The EAC was created as part of its passage. It tests voting systems, puts out voting guidelines, and implements grant programs. 


Distributing the funds approved by HAVA is a huge part of EAC's job. This includes money for things like replacing punch card and lever systems with electronic machines, making polling places accessible for people with disabilities, and recruiting students to work the polls. Sponsoring Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) maintains that all that stuff has been done — so the EAC should be, too. 


It's important to note that the EAC doesn’t have any enforcements power; that’s all up to the U.S. Attorney General.


In Depth: 

This isn’t the first time that Harper has tangled with the EAC. Back in 2009, he was one of the Congress members who called on Commissioner Gracia Hillman to resign amid findings that the EAC refused to hire Republicans. In the previous Congress, he introduced a similar bill calling for the dissolution of the EAC.


Media:

Sponsoring Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) Guest Column in The Hill

CBO Cost Estimate

The Clarion-Ledger 

The Leadership Conference on Human Rights (Opposed)

The League of Women Voters (Opposed)

USA Today


Summary by James Helmsworth
(Photo Credit: Flickr user adactio)

AKA

Election Assistance Commission Termination Act

Official Title

To terminate the Election Assistance Commission.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Administration
    IntroducedJanuary 7th, 2015
    It's not a good use of taxpayer money to try and get people to care about voting. We really have this kind of idle funding sitting around?
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Shocker. A Republican proposing something that would reduce voter turnout. Never saw that one coming.
    Like (41)
    Follow
    Share
    Why would we remove something that gets people involved in the political process?
    Like (26)
    Follow
    Share
    We learned in elementary school about the importance of voting. There is no need to waste taxpayers' money on adults who don't know what an 11-year-old knows. Adults who are lazy, ignorant, indifferent, and/or disinterested don't need my money to encourage a vote from them. I am disgusted by all politicians who ignorantly and arrogantly believe taxpayers' money should be wasted on such social engineering. Another concern is that the political party in power can and WILL use taxpayers' money to encourage voters' actions from constituents who will support that party. I have no reason to believe that is not already a fact. Though this proposed bill will supposedly decrease federal expenditure by $40 millions, it is only a drop in the ocean. Where are our representatives who claim they want to make huge cuts in federal spending, especially federal wasteful spending? Their existence seems to be a myth.
    Like (20)
    Follow
    Share
    We need more voters, not less. This bill will reduce voter turnout.
    Like (19)
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    Because minorities need to be educated on how important the voting process is. They need to know how to chose the best person who has their interest at heart and not corporations!!
    Like (10)
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    I'm all for less government. If people take more responsibility for their own voting, maybe they'll value it more.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    The individual state Boards of Election should be able to do the work that the EAC supposedly does WITHOUT the federal government holding their hand. Moreover, the state BoEs are (or should be) more responsive to the will of the people who live in their state. WHY DO LIBERALS THINK THAT IT'S THE BUSINESS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO EDUCATE MINORITIES AND ENABLE THEM TO VOTE?! THIS IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STATES! I HOPE THAT THE DISSOLUTION OF THE EAC LEADS TO SEVERAL OTHER AGENCIES BEING CLOSED IN A MUCH NEEDED EFFORT TO SHRINK THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, REDUCE THE DEFICIT, AND RETURN POWER TO THE STATES AND THE PEOPLE!
    Like (7)
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    It's unconscionable to so brazenly try to further denigrate the franchise of our citizens. We need MORE support to improve voter turnout and to turn back the underhanded efforts to deter minority voters.
    Like (7)
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    The ECA provides a valuable service to local and state Boards of Elections by providing training, guidance and technical support, it needs to be strengthened not shut down!
    Like (6)
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    Eliminating needless bureaucracy is beneficial to everyone--everyone except those with a vested interest.
    Like (6)
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    Anything that can increase democratic political participation is worth sustaining. If there are concerns over management increase oversight.
    Like (5)
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    Never should have been created in the first place
    Like (4)
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    Simple way to correct voting abuses. Make one day in November Election Day for Federal office. Assure that enough polls are available to minimize long lines. Furnish all appropriate voter credentialling to those requesting it in sufficient lead time and then require its display to the clerks at the polls. Assure that uniformed military in foreign lands receive their absentee ballots and count them all. Wasn't this the way we always assured a non fraudulent result, except maybe in Cook County? New needs: Chuck all electronic voting methods that produce no paper trail for auditing. Remove bat wielding New Black Panthers from polling places and prosecute.
    Like (4)
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    I don't think this is needed and I'm not sure if we need FEC either. Someone does need to go after voter fraud. Like voters voting more than once. Inmates of mental hospitals bussed to voting places and the staff going in with the inmates to help them vote. This means that the staff got to vote multiple times using their charges to cheat. This was done in NC.
    Like (4)
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    Since it is not costing that much money I think it is good to keep a commission solely dedicated to people being able to vote it's a good thing to keep turn out high.
    Like (4)
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    People should NOT need ANY assistance in understanding the importance of voting! If they don't understand its best they don't vote anyway because how could they possibly understand the stances of individual candidates and how some of these fairly complex issues affect their lives one way or another. If they are intelligent enough to understand the importance of voting, they will do everything they need to do to inform themselves and then get to the polls to vote.
    Like (4)
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    It is an anachronism of the past.
    Like (4)
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    Republicans will willingly deny any one their rights to advance their agenda. Including violating individual's rights to vote (if they would be more likely to vote Democrat)
    Like (4)
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    The EAC should be retooled but not eliminated. It should create a system of standards for states to implement and produce innovative ways to get higher turnouts, while still providing a safeguard for unethical practices.
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