Republicans moved a step forward Tuesday in their continuing effort to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission, which was created to help states run elections. A House committee approved legislation Tuesday to shut down the federal commission set up more than 10 years ago to help states improve their election systems. “This agency needs to go,” said Mississippi Republican Rep. Gregg Harper, who introduced the bill to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission. “This agency has outlived its usefulness and to continue to fund it is the definition of irresponsibility.” The House Administration Committee approved the legislation by voice vote. This marks Harper’s third attempt in four years to close the bipartisan independent commission, which he called a “bloated bureaucracy.” It is not clear when the full House will vote on the measure. Harper said he’s working to persuade a senator to introduce a companion measure in that chamber.
The chairwoman of the Administration Committee, Republican Rep. Candice Miller of Michigan, called the Election Assistance Commission “a prime example of waste shielded by bureaucracy.”
She said the agency no longer helps voters or election officials.
“There’s just no need for this agency to exist,” she said. “We need to shut it down.”
Voting rights advocates counter that the commission is still needed, particularly since some states still experience long lines at polls and other problems on Election Day.
“There’s a great need for it,” said Hilary Shelton, director of the Washington Bureau of the NAACP. “There’s a need for those responsibilities that the EAC was given by statue … We want to see the EAC strengthened so it can do what it was designed to do.”
Full Article: House panel OKs ending Election Assistance Commission.