The House Administration Committee will step up election oversight, as it increases hearings to twice a month and sets its sights on terminating the Election Assistance Commission.
“There are a number of things that need to be addressed in the coming months,” said Elections subcommittee Chairman Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.). “Oversight certainly has been lacking in a number of areas.”
Among the issues the subcommittee plans to examine are the EAC, the Federal Election Commission, overseas voting and cleaning up state voter roles.
“This will give us an opportunity to go back and look and make sure that everybody’s doing what they’re supposed to do,” Harper said. “And if they’re not, why are they not doing it, and is there something we can do to make it easier for them to do their job.”
Square in the subcommittee’s crosshairs is the EAC, an independent commission established in the wake of the contested 2000 presidential election to improve how elections are conducted nationwide.
Established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002, the EAC has disbursed more than $3 billion in “requirements” payments to states to update voting machines and enhance election administration. But the commission has seen that funding significantly decline in recent years, and lawmakers are questioning the viability of the commission moving forward.
In February, House Administration Committee members Harper, Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) and Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) submitted a resolution recommending the EAC’s termination and transfer of commission operations to other agencies.