Just a quick review of yesterday’s Senate Rules Committee hearing to hear testimony from the co-chairs of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration and conduct a business hearing on two nominations to the Election Assistance Commission:
• The EAC portion of the hearing did not occur – at least not in the hearing room; Chairman Charles Schumer (D-NY) said that the business meeting to consider those nominations would take place “off the floor” later in the day, but there appears to be no evidence in yesterday’s Congressional Record that the meeting took place;
+ The hearing itself was attended by only four Senators – Schumer, ranking member Pat Roberts (R-KS), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Angus King (I-ME);
• Overall, the hearing was cordial and co-chairs Robert Bauer and Ben Ginsberg had the opportunity to discuss the PCEA report and answer Senators’ questions about its impact on election policy going forward;
… The “big news” of the day was actually a confirmation of what was already apparent: that neither co-chair believes the EAC can help resolve the “impending crisis” in voting technology. Ginsberg told the committee that he thought the states were the right place for voting equipment testing and certification to occur (a return to the status quo pre-HAVA). Bauer said that while he thought a fully-functional EAC could handle the job, current political realities are preventing that from happening. What, if any, impact that has on the nominations or the future of the agency remains to be seen.
All in all, an informative and largely uneventful hearing – though it confirms for me that efforts to implement the PCEA’s recommendations are almost certainly going have to occur outside the federal government.
Full Article: Senate Rules Committee Hearing Followup – Election Academy.