If It’s an Election Year, Why Does the Federal Election Assistance Commission Have No Commissioners?

Monday, April 16, 2012
The Election Assistance Commission (EAC), charged with overseeing federal election standards, has no appointed leaders in the year of a presidential election.
Four commissioners, two Democrats and two Republicans, are supposed to head the EAC. But Republican opposition in the Senate has stonewalled the Democratic nominees.
A GOP appointee, Gineen Maria Bresso, withdrew her name in January. The system was meant to approve one Democrat and one Republican at the same time, but because there are no Republican nominees, the leadership has remained completely vacant.
The EAC also has no executive director. Staff members have been carrying out day-to-day duties, like approving voting equipment.
But without commissioners, the EAC is unable to rule on appeals, hold meetings or hearings, and approve new standards that were supposed to be finalized two years ago.
Created in 2002 following the voting machine debacle in Florida during the 2000 presidential election, the EAC has been under almost constant attack by Republicans who claim that it is a waste of money. Democrats counter that the Republicans were satisfied with the Florida result that put George W. Bush in the White House and prefer that national standards not be imposed.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
Voting Body is Leaderless (by Emily Heil, Washington Post)


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