A Republican-led House committee voted on Tuesday to eliminate an independent election commission charged with helping states improve their voting systems as Donald Trump erroneously claims widespread voter fraud cost him the popular vote. The party-line vote came less than two days after the US president vowed to set up a White House commission helmed by the vice-president, Mike Pence, to pursue his accusations of election fraud. … The bill was opposed by committee Democrats and voting rights groups, who argued that the federal agency played a vital role in protecting elections from hacking and other types of interference. “At a time when the vast majority of the country’s voting machines are outdated and in need of replacement, and after an election in which foreign criminals already tried to hack state voter registration systems, eliminating the EAC poses a risky and irresponsible threat to our election infrastructure,” said Wendy Weiser, the democracy program director at the Brennan Center for Justice.
… “Each day we hear from state and local election officials who need our help to navigate the challenges they face,” said the EAC chair, Thomas Hicks, in a statement. “We are focused on serving them and the American voters. Congress should remain a trusted partner in that effort.”
The committee also voted to terminate the public financing system, which provides major party presidential nominees with a lump sum grant of roughly $94.14m in the general election. But a candidate who accepts the grant may not raise any additional funds and is severely limited in how much of his own money he can give or lend to his campaign.