The Commissioners have had a very busy couple of weeks hosting and visiting important members of the election community and listening to ideas, priorities and the appropriate role of the EAC now that it is reconstituted. At our recent Next Steps roundtable, we solicited opinions from a range of stakeholders: local and state election administrators, officials, legislative representatives, vendors, technology advisors, the accessibility community, advocacy and interest groups, and commissioners from the Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA). The Co-Chairs of the PCEA kicked off our event with some encouraging, and, frankly, sobering, words on how the EAC is now positioned to follow up on the PCEA’s work. Bob Bauer set a very high standard for the EAC by saying, “The newly invigorated Election Assistance Commission will provide for a new beginning here in the United States about how to improve the voting experience for millions of voters.” Ben Ginsburg told us that he believes “the work the EAC does is tremendously important; the EAC will play a major role in finding solutions to impending crises in voting technology” in addition to its clearinghouse and research functions. Both Co-Chairs stressed that a bipartisan approach to election administration is critical. All the EAC Commissioners agree and we are committed to operating in a friendly, bipartisan manner.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams reminded the Commission that, “each state is unique and we are not interested in a series of national mandates, but we ARE interested in the [EAC’s] help and assistance.” He pointed out that “elections require 100% accuracy and instantaneous results,” a very high bar indeed. “We can’t afford to have glitches in technology even with [software] updates.”
Others on the panels also had much to offer. Steve Trout of the Clear Ballot Group emphasized that all stakeholders need to be at the table and that “one of the best things that the EAC can do is to facilitate this conversation.” He continued, “We need a neutral party to address the voting technology crisis.” Some election administrators are working on their own cutting-edge solutions, including Michael Winn, Director of Elections for Travis County, Texas, who addressed the aging voting machine problem and has been working on developing a new system. He confessed that developing the next voting system is scary, daunting, terrifying, but exciting. He is looking forward to partnering with the EAC in moving his system forward.
Full Article: Blog Details WE ARE LISTENING says Chairwoman McCormick.