The House GOP unveiled a plan to disband the Election Assistance Commission, a federal agency created in 2002 whose sole purpose is to ensure that the U.S. elections are fair.
A Vital Agency
The agency is now collaborating with the FBI on the investigation into a potential breach. As of recently, the EAC said it had scanned its systems to ensure that they weren’t compromised.
The agency is focused on delivering election-management strategies and certifies voting systems. However, states and local authorities are the ones that manage the entire voting process.
The EAC was created via the Help America Vote Act, a bipartisan effort to establish minimum standards for voting security and scrap outdated punch cards. HAVA’s initial goal was to create an election security panel that could unveil breaches like the one recently reported by South Carolina.
Democrats Oppose the Plan
This is why House Democrats strongly oppose the GOP’s plan to dismantle the EAC. Republicans, however, argue that there is a high risk of ‘federal overreach’ now that the Republican party controls all arms of the government.
Democrats who are trying to save the agency argue that the agency has a unique role at a time when hostile nations are trying – if they haven’t already succeeded – to interfere in our democratic elections.
One lawmaker noted that it is the “worst time” to kill the agency while slashing funds would just prompt Putin to try and influence the election once more. HAVA was a response to the 2000 election which was rigged by the GOP. Twelve years later, HAVA gave local election panels and governments $3.2 billion and fixed the problems for which it was created in the first place, such as the issue of hanging chads.
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