The federal agency that helps states improve their election systems is warning that aging voting machines could create problems in next year’s presidential election. Many of the machines were purchased more than a decade ago, according to the Election Assistance Commission. “It’s a big concern not just for us, but (for) state and local officials who are running these elections,” said Christy McCormick, new chairwoman of the independent, bipartisan commission. “Hopefully, they can prevent any major problems in 2016, but it’s going to be a challenge.” It’s one of several issues the EAC plans to highlight as it ramps up operations after four years without enough commissioners for a quorum. The commission held a public hearing Tuesday to discuss its plans, and recently kicked off a listening tour to hear from local election officials and advocates. Commissioners will visit New Orleans next week. “It’s like our moment to be able to reinvigorate the commission and figure out what our stakeholders need from us going forward,” McCormick said.
If Republicans have their way, the commission’s sense of purpose won’t last long. Led by 3rd District U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper of Mississippi, the party is on a mission to eliminate the EAC, saying it has outlived its usefulness.
“It’s time for it to be put out of its misery,” Harper said.
Last month, Harper reintroduced his Election Assistance Commission Termination Act, his fourth attempt to shut down the agency, which has a $10 million annual budget. The measure has passed the House twice but was never introduced in the Senate.
Harper said the bill stands a better chance this year, now that Republicans have taken control of the Senate and have expanded their majority in the House.
Full Article: Election panel GOP wants to eliminate is back in action.