More Election Oversight Slated for Termination

Picture of Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen

On June 28 a House Appropriation Bill for 2018 proposes to eliminate funding for the Election Assistance Commission (EAC). The bill will give the EAC 60 days to terminate itself, while giving the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the task of administering and completing EAC outstanding contracts and agreements. EAC functions as a nonpartisan government commission that monitors elections, works to increase voter participation, helps state and local officials administer elections, conducts audits of elections, tests equipment for hacking and more.

EAC was established after the 2000 presidential election when a high level of “abnormalities” occurred handing the election to George Bush. Democrats are furious with this decision. Many think it’s a step back for the country. In fact many Democrats see it as another way for Republicans to control elections by eliminating the certification of voting systems, election audits, get out to vote campaigns and more. Republicans say the agency was meant to be temporary.

With the advent of possible electronic election tampering in the 2016 Presidential Election some say the agency is needed now more than ever before. However, H.R. 634 “Election Assistance Commission Termination Act” is likely to pass as Democrats have little power to stop it. Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer calls the proposed termination reckless and irresponsible. While Republican Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey says “if we rig elections our party will be positioned to give taxpayers what they want, more Republican and Corporate agendas”.      

More can be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/634/text and at https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-115hr-sc-ap-fy2018-fservices-financialservicesandgeneralgovernment.pdf and at https://frelinghuysen.house.gov/appropriations-news/appropriations-committee-releases-fiscal-year-2018-financial-services-bill/ and at https://www.democraticwhip.gov/content/hoyer-brady-statement-appropriations-committee-s-proposal-terminate-election-assistance-co-0?mini=calendar%2F2017-05