H. Rept. 113-293 - 113th Congress (2013-2014)
December 12, 2013, As Reported by the House Administration Committee

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House Report 113-293 - ELECTION ASSISTANCE COMMISSION TERMINATION ACT




[House Report 113-293]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


113th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    113-293

======================================================================



 
             ELECTION ASSISTANCE COMMISSION TERMINATION ACT

                                _______
                                

 December 12, 2013.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mrs. Miller of Michigan, from the Committee on House Administration, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1994]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on House Administration, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1994) to terminate the Election Assistance 
Commission, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                  Background and Need for Legislation


                              INTRODUCTION

    Congress established the Election Assistance Commission 
(EAC) as part of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). HAVA 
allocated large sums of federal money to states to replace 
punch card and lever voting systems and to develop statewide 
voter registration databases. The administration of these 
payments to states was a principal function of the EAC. In 
addition, the EAC was established to operate a federal voting 
system testing and certification program, maintain a 
clearinghouse of election administration information, and 
perform a series of research studies mandated by HAVA.
    Today, the flow of election administration funds to states 
from the federal government has ended. The EAC has completed 
its HAVA-required research (with one exception discussed 
below). Even with those programs, the EAC has overhead costs 
that exceed its budget for program administration. Without 
them, the EAC is a bureaucracy in search of a mission.
    Worse, it is a bureaucracy with a history of poor financial 
and managerial decisions and (apparently meritorious) claims of 
employment discrimination based on political viewpoint and 
military service. The EAC has repeatedly become mired in 
partisan controversies. The National Association of Secretaries 
of State has twice called on Congress to dissolve the EAC.
    Heeding the Secretaries' call and recognizing the record 
before it, this Committee reported H.R. 672 in the 112th 
Congress to eliminate the EAC. The full House in the 112th 
Congress approved H.R. 3463, which would have eliminated the 
EAC along with the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. The 
Committee's report on H.R. 672, House Report 112-100, part 1, 
details the Committee's findings regarding the EAC's completion 
of its functions and history of mismanagement.
    The EAC has existed with no commissioners since 2011, no 
quorum of commissioners since 2010, and no executive director 
or general counsel since 2011 and 2012, respectively.

                   ORGANIZATION AND BUDGET OF THE EAC

    The EAC was established with four full-time commissioners 
appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. HAVA 
directs that one commissioner be appointed at the 
recommendation of each of the Speaker of the House, House 
Minority Leader, Majority Leader of the Senate, and Minority 
Leader of the Senate. HAVA also established the positions of 
executive director and general counsel, each appointed by the 
commissioners. All other staff positions are established and 
hired at the discretion of the executive director. The EAC has 
existed with no commissioners since 2011, no quorum of 
commissioners since 2010, and no executive director or general 
counsel since 2011 and 2012, respectively.
    HAVA authorized appropriations for the EAC of up to $10 
million in each of the years 2003, 2004 and 2005. No 
appropriations were authorized for years after 2005. 
Notwithstanding the authorization's limit of $10 million per 
year and its duration only through 2005, in FY 2010 the EAC's 
budget was $17.959 million. In FY 2012, the appropriated budget 
fell to $11.5 million. The EAC's requested budget for FY 2014 
is $11.062 million. Of that, $2.75 million would be transferred 
to NIST for technical and scientific support of the testing and 
certification program and $8.312 million is for operation of 
the agency. The budget request the EAC submitted to Congress 
breaks the operating budget request into the following amounts:

------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------
``Indirect Costs'' (management/overhead)             55%      $4,577,446
Grants..................................            2.7%         228,471
Research................................            9.8%         810,971
Testing and Certification...............            9.5%         786,914
Communications..........................            8.7%         721,197
Inspector General.......................           14.3%       1,187,500
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Adding up the budgets for the four program departments, 
they total $2,547,553. This means the agency has a management 
cost of $4.5 million for $2.5 million worth of programs. This 
is an unjustifiably inefficient organization by any measure, 
and an even worse ratio than in the last Congress.

                      THE EAC'S ROLE IN ELECTIONS

    Since the enactment of HAVA, there have been three major 
contested elections that called into doubt the functioning of 
the election process: for Governor of the State of Washington 
in 2004, for the House of Representatives in the 13th District 
of Florida in 2006 and for the U.S. Senate in Minnesota in 
2008. Each resulted in a protracted dispute that was not 
resolved until months after the election, and each led to 
charges of system breakdowns in the election process and 
partisan manipulation by election officials. Neither HAVA nor 
the EAC prevented the problems uncovered in those elections, 
and the EAC had no role in resolving them.
    The EAC does not register voters, nor does it have any 
enforcement authority over laws governing voter registration. 
The EAC has no role in the casting or counting of ballots, or 
resolving election disputes. Election officials have direct 
functional connections to the EAC when they receive funds from 
it and when they seek to use voting systems certified by it. 
Other contact is informational, and the informational function 
does not need to be performed by the federal government.
    Likewise, voters have direct functional connections to the 
EAC only when they use the EAC's website to download the 
national voter registration form--which is available from other 
sources and can be made available on any government web site. 
Other contact between the EAC and voters is informational, and 
the information from the EAC is second-hand because the actual 
rules and procedures for elections are set by state and local 
jurisdictions.
    When the President deemed it necessary to conduct a review 
of the 2012 election, he did not turn to the EAC to perform it. 
Instead he created, through executive order, a Presidential 
Commission on Election Administration. This shows both a lack 
of confidence in the EAC and the lack of a need for it to 
address perceived issues in election administration.

                           EAC PROGRAM AREAS

Grants

    Some election officials have questioned the elimination of 
the EAC because of the hardship their jurisdictions will suffer 
without continued federal funding. No funds have been provided 
since 2010 and it appears unlikely they will be provided in the 
future. The lack of funding is not caused by the proposed 
termination of the EAC. Rather, the absence of funds available 
in a strained federal budget is merely one more reason why 
operation of the EAC is an unnecessary and wasteful use of 
scarce taxpayer resources. With no funds left to distribute, 
there is no reason to retain the EAC to disburse them.

Research

    HAVA required the EAC to perform five specified research 
studies: (1) facilitating military and overseas voting, (2) 
human factors in voting system design, (3) using Social 
Security numbers in voter registration, (4) electronic and 
Internet voting and (5) free or reduced postage for absentee 
ballots. Four of those studies have been completed. The fifth 
study, on the use of Social Security numbers in voter 
registration, is now some eight years overdue. In the face of 
this delay, it seems unlikely the final study will be completed 
in the foreseeable future.
    The EAC also produces documents called Election Management 
Guidelines and Quick Start Guides. The agency has completed all 
of these documents that it plans to produce. Even if they had 
not been completed, their value has been questioned in 
congressional testimony and elsewhere.
    With the required research effectively complete, and other 
materials likewise complete, there is no reason to retain the 
EAC to perform research. There is no Congressional mandate for 
further research, and any research conducted likely would be 
designed to justify the EAC's continued existence rather than 
to fulfill an important and uniquely federal need.

Testing and certification

    Prior to the enactment of HAVA, the National Association of 
State Election Directors operated a program to test and certify 
voting systems so that election officials purchasing such 
systems had some independent validation of their quality and 
performance. The Federal Election Commission also played a role 
in the process prior to the enactment of HAVA through the 
voting system standards it issued in 1990.
    HAVA created a federal program to perform this function. 
The program involves four parts: developing the standards 
voting systems are required to meet in order to be certified 
(the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines, or VVSG), accrediting 
labs to test voting systems against those standards, conducting 
the tests, and certifying that systems satisfy the standards.
    Twenty states and territories make no use of the federal 
testing and certification program. The other 35 states and 
territories use the federal standards and certification process 
in some way--some by requiring federal certification of the 
systems they purchase, some by requiring that systems be tested 
to federal standards in a federally-accredited lab and some by 
requiring testing to federal standards without specifying the 
type of lab that may conduct the tests.
    The last full adoption of a VVSG occurred in 2005, leaving 
the EAC process far behind the development of technology in 
voting systems. The federal testing and certification program 
using standards developed under the HAVA system is not 
effectively supporting voting system quality. For states who 
want to participate in a joint process rather than create and 
test to their own standards, there are alternative institutions 
to the federal government such as one or more academic 
facilities, an association of election officials, or a 
consortium of states established for the purpose. The state 
stakeholders who bear the burdens of selecting and paying for 
voting systems are in the best position to decide upon and 
manage the appropriate process. Even if the testing and 
certification program were to continue as a function of the 
federal government, it does not justify operating a separate 
federal agency.

Communications

    Prior to the enactment of HAVA, the Federal Election 
Commission operated a clearing house of election administration 
information for state and local election officials. This 
clearinghouse has been absorbed into the EAC's web site. The 
operation of a web site collecting data on election 
administration does not justify operating a separate federal 
agency.

                  MANAGEMENT AND PARTISAN CONTROVERSY

    As described in the report accompanying H.R. 672 in the 
112th Congress, a series of incidents at the EAC have shown a 
pattern of questionable decision-making, poor financial choices 
and partisan controversy. These include questionable spending, 
claims of retaliation and a hostile work environment, and 
politicized decision-making. Most disturbingly, in two separate 
attempts to hire a general counsel the EAC discriminated 
against applicants, first on the basis of political affiliation 
and then on the basis of military service. Both resulted in the 
payment of substantial sums of taxpayer funds to the 
applicants.

                               CONCLUSION

    The EAC has completed most of its major functions. Its 
operations and budget show that its mission cannot justify 
maintaining a federal agency. The EAC has a record of 
discrimination based on political affiliation and military 
service and a history of partisan controversy. The functions of 
the EAC that continue to be necessary and valuable can be 
performed elsewhere more efficiently and at least as 
effectively.

                       Introduction and Referral

    On May 13, 2013, Congressman Gregg Harper of Mississippi 
introduced H.R. 1994, which was referred to the Committee on 
House Administration.

                                Hearings

    There were no legislative hearings held on H.R. 1994.

                        Committee Consideration

    On June 4, 2013, the Committee on House Administration met 
to consider H.R. 1994. The Committee ordered the bill reported 
favorably to the House without amendment by voice vote with a 
quorum present.

                         Committee Record Votes

    In compliance with House Rule XIII, clause 3(b), requiring 
the results of each record vote on an amendment or motion to 
report, together with the names of those voting for and 
against, to be printed in the Committee report, the Committee 
states that there were no record votes during the Committee's 
consideration of H.R. 1994.

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    In compliance with House Rule XIII, clause 3(c)(1), the 
Committee states that the findings and recommendations of the 
Committee, based on oversight activities under House Rule X, 
clause 2(b)(1), are incorporated into the general discussion 
section of this report.

            Statement of Budget Authority and Related Items

    The bill does not provide new budget authority, new 
spending authority, new credit authority, or an increase or 
decrease in revenues or tax expenditures and a statement under 
House Rule XIII, clause 3(c)(2), and section 308(a)(1) of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 is not required.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974:

                                                     July 16, 2013.
Hon. Candice Miller,
Chairman, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Madam Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1994, the Election 
Assistance Commission Termination Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Maggie 
Morrissey and Matthew Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1994--Election Assistance Commission Termination Act

    Summary: H.R. 1994 would eliminate the Election Assistance 
Commission (EAC) and transfer some of its responsibilities to 
the Federal Election Commission (FEC), while the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) would be responsible for winding 
down the commission's contracts and agreements. The EAC would 
terminate within 60 days of the bill's enactment.
    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1994 would reduce 
spending that is subject to appropriation by $42 million over 
the 2014-2018 period. Enacting the bill would not affect direct 
spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do 
not apply.
    H.R. 1994 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 1994 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 800 
(general government).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2014     2015     2016     2017     2018   2014-2018
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Terminating Election Assistance Commission:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................       -9      -10      -10      -10      -11       -50
    Estimated Outlays...................................       -8       -9       -9      -10      -10       -46
Federal Election Commission:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................        *        *        *        *        *         1
    Estimated Outlays...................................        *        *        *        *        *         1
Office of Management and Budget:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................        2        1        0        0        0         3
    Estimated Outlays...................................        2        1        0        0        0         3
    Total Changes:
        Estimated Authorization Level...................       -7       -9      -10      -10      -11       -46
        Estimated Outlays...............................       -6       -8       -9      -10      -10      -42
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: * = less than $500,000.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
legislation will be enacted before the end of 2013, that 
amounts not needed after eliminating the EAC would not be 
appropriated, that the necessary amounts for new activities 
will be appropriated near the start of each fiscal year, and 
that the new spending will follow historical patterns for 
similar activities.
    The EAC advises state and local governments on 
administering elections and provides grants to states to 
replace punch-card voting machines and make other improvements 
to voting systems. The commission also develops voluntary 
standards for managing elections, serves as a clearinghouse for 
information, and reviews procedures for administering federal 
elections.

Terminating Election Assistance Commission

    Eliminating the EAC would reduce the need for appropriated 
funds in future years. Under current law, up to $10 million is 
authorized to be appropriated annually for the EAC. In fiscal 
year 2013, the commission received an appropriation of $9 
million. Assuming appropriations would continue under current 
law at that level with an adjustment for anticipated inflation, 
CBO estimates that terminating the EAC would reduce spending 
that is subject to appropriation by $46 million over the 2014-
2018 period.

Federal Election Commission

    H.R. 1994 would transfer some EAC responsibilities to the 
FEC. Based on information from the EAC and FEC, CBO expects 
that those new responsibilities would require the FEC to hire 
one or two additional employees. CBO estimates that those 
additional employees would cost nearly $1 million over the next 
five years.

Office of Management and Budget

    OMB would be responsible for closing down the EAC and 
fulfilling the agency's final contracts and agreements. Based 
on information from the EAC, final responsibilities would 
involve auditing competitive grant programs. CBO estimates that 
closing down the agency would cost $3 million over the 2014-
2018 period, assuming the appropriation of the necessary 
amounts.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 1994 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would not affect the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Matthew Pickford and 
Maggie Morrissey; Impact on state, local, and tribal 
governments: Elizabeth Cove Delisle; Impact on the private 
sector: Paige Piper/Bach.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    In compliance with House Rule XIII, clause 3(c)(4), the 
Committee states that the general discussion section of this 
report includes a statement of the general performance goals 
and objectives, including outcome-related goals and objectives, 
for which H.R. 1994 authorizes funding.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Congress has the power to enact this legislation pursuant 
to Amendment XVI of the U.S. Constitution relating to the 
collection of income tax and additionally to Article I, Section 
4 of the U.S. Constitution granting Congress the authority to 
make laws governing the time, place and manner of holding 
Federal elections.

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In accordance with House Rule XXI, clause 9, the Committee 
states that H.R. 1994 does not contain any congressional 
earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as 
defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of Rule XXI.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                     HELP AMERICA VOTE ACT OF 2002


SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a) * * *
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is 
as follows:

     * * * * * * *

                   TITLE X--TERMINATION OF COMMISSION

Sec. 1001. Termination.
Sec. 1002. Office of Management and Budget to perform transition 
          functions.
Sec. 1003. Savings provisions.
Sec. 1004. Return to Federal Election Commission of authority to carry 
          out certain functions under National Voter Registration Act of 
          1993.
Sec. 1005. Commission termination date.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                          TITLE II--COMMISSION

Subtitle A--Establishment and General Organization

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


           PART 3--TECHNICAL GUIDELINES DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

SEC. 221. TECHNICAL GUIDELINES DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE.

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (g) Termination.--Effective on the Commission termination 
date described in section 1005, the Development Committee is 
terminated.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                   TITLE X--TERMINATION OF COMMISSION

SEC. 1001. TERMINATION.

  Effective on the Commission termination date, the Commission 
(including the Election Assistance Commission Standards Board 
and the Election Assistance Commission Board of Advisors under 
part 2 of subtitle A of title II) is terminated and may not 
carry out any programs or activities.

SEC. 1002. OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET TO PERFORM TRANSITION 
                    FUNCTIONS.

  Except as provided in section 1004, the Director of the 
Office of Management and Budget shall, effective upon the 
Commission termination date--
          (1) perform the functions of the Commission with 
        respect to contracts and agreements described in 
        subsection 1003(a) until the expiration of such 
        contracts and agreements, but shall not renew any such 
        contract or agreement; and
          (2) take the necessary steps to wind up the affairs 
        of the Commission.

SEC. 1003. SAVINGS PROVISIONS.

  (a) Prior Contracts.--The termination of the Commission under 
this title shall not affect any contract that has been entered 
into by the Commission before the Commission termination date. 
All such contracts shall continue in effect until modified, 
superseded, terminated, set aside, or revoked in accordance 
with law by an authorized Federal official, a court of 
competent jurisdiction, or operation of law.
  (b) Obligations of Recipients of Payments.--
          (1) In general.--The termination of the Commission 
        under this title shall not affect the authority of any 
        recipient of a payment made by the Commission under 
        this Act prior to the Commission termination date to 
        use any portion of the payment that remains unobligated 
        as of the Commission termination date, and the terms 
        and conditions that applied to the use of the payment 
        at the time the payment was made shall continue to 
        apply.
          (2) Special rule for states receiving requirements 
        payments.--In the case of a requirements payment made 
        to a State under part 1 of subtitle D of title II, the 
        terms and conditions applicable to the use of the 
        payment for purposes of the State's obligations under 
        this subsection (as well as any obligations in effect 
        prior to the termination of the Commission under this 
        subtitle), and for purposes of any applicable 
        requirements imposed by regulations promulgated by the 
        Director of the Office of Management and Budget, shall 
        be the general terms and conditions applicable under 
        Federal law, rules, and regulations to payments made by 
        the Federal Government to a State, except that to the 
        extent that such general terms and conditions are 
        inconsistent with the terms and conditions that are 
        specified under part 1 of subtitle D of title II or 
        section 902, the terms and conditions specified under 
        such part and such section shall apply.
  (c) Pending Proceedings.--
          (1) No effect on pending proceedings.--The 
        termination of the Commission under this title shall 
        not affect any proceeding to which the Commission is a 
        party that is pending on the Commission termination 
        date, including any suit to which the Commission is a 
        party that is commenced prior to such date, and the 
        Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall 
        be substituted or added as a party to the proceeding.
          (2) Treatment of orders.--In the case of a proceeding 
        described in paragraph (1), an order may be issued, an 
        appeal may be taken, judgments may be rendered, and 
        payments may be made as if the Commission had not been 
        terminated. Any such order shall continue in effect 
        until modified, terminated, superseded, or revoked by 
        an authorized Federal official, a court of competent 
        jurisdiction, or operation of law.
          (3) Construction relating to discontinuance or 
        modification.--Nothing in this subsection shall be 
        deemed to prohibit the discontinuance or modification 
        of any proceeding described in paragraph (1) under the 
        same terms and conditions and to the same extent that 
        such proceeding could have been discontinued or 
        modified if the Commission had not been terminated.
          (4) Regulations for transfer of proceedings.--The 
        Director of the Office of Management and Budget may 
        issue regulations providing for the orderly transfer of 
        proceedings described in paragraph (1).
  (d) Judicial Review.--Orders and actions of the Director of 
the Office of Management and Budget in the exercise of 
functions of the Commission under section 1002 shall be subject 
to judicial review to the same extent and in the same manner as 
if such orders and actions had been issued or taken by the 
Commission. Any requirements relating to notice, hearings, 
action upon the record, or administrative review that apply to 
any function of the Commission shall apply to the exercise of 
such function by the Director.

SEC. 1004. RETURN TO FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION OF AUTHORITY TO CARRY 
                    OUT CERTAIN FUNCTIONS UNDER NATIONAL VOTER 
                    REGISTRATION ACT OF 1993.

  Effective on the Commission termination date, there are 
transferred to the Federal Election Commission any functions 
transferred to the Election Assistance Commission under section 
802 (relating to functions described in section 9(a) of the 
National Voter Registration Act of 1993).

SEC. 1005. COMMISSION TERMINATION DATE.

  The ``Commission termination date'' is the first date 
following the expiration of the 60-day period that begins on 
the date of the enactment of this title.
                              ----------                              


FEDERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN ACT OF 1971

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



TITLE III--DISCLOSURE OF FEDERAL CAMPAIGN FUNDS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                       ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

  Sec. 311. (a) The Commission shall--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (8) prescribe rules, regulations, and forms to carry 
        out the provisions of this Act, in accordance with the 
        provisions of subsection (d); [and]
          (9) transmit to the President and to each House of 
        the Congress no later than June 1 of each year, a 
        report which states in detail the activities of the 
        Commission in carrying out its duties under this Act, 
        and any recommendations for any legislative or other 
        action the Commission considers appropriate[.];
          (10) carry out the duties described in section 9(a) 
        of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


        SECTION 9 OF THE NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION ACT OF 1993


SEC. 9. FEDERAL COORDINATION AND REGULATIONS.

  (a) In General.--The [Election Assistance Commission] Federal 
Election Commission--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


MINORITY VIEWS OF RANKING MEMBER ROBERT A. BRADY, REP. ZOE LOFGREN AND 
                            REP. JUAN VARGAS

    H.R. 1994, ``Election Assistance Commission Termination 
Act'', represents the third time House Republicans have tried 
to eliminate the EAC, the only federal agency tasked with 
helping state and local officials administer their elections. 
Our position on this legislation has not changed and we opposed 
it both in the Committee and on the House floor all through the 
112th Congress. It is our hope that we can work with the 
Majority to arrive at mutually agreeable positions on these 
matters, rather than endlessly entertain the same shortsighted 
legislation from Congress to Congress. There is too much 
important work to be done to continually waste time like this.
    Touted as a cost-cutting measure, elimination of the EAC 
will only result in cost-shifting to states and other federal 
agencies at the expense of effective election administration.
    The multitude of services the EAC provides has been 
discussed at length in previous Committee reports, but it is 
useful to address them again. Among the valuable functions of 
the EAC are:
        
 LEAC's Election Administration and Survey is 
        the largest and most comprehensive collection of 
        election administration information in a single source 
        and is freely available to the public.
        
 LEAC's testing and certification function 
        ensures that voting machine manufacturers are held 
        accountable for malfunctioning machines that 
        disfranchise voters.
        
 LEAC's Accessible Voting Technology Initiative 
        focuses on making casting a ballot accessible for 
        disabled voters.
        
 LThe EAC has compiled and maintains a 
        comprehensive database on military and overseas voting 
        statistics and information and provides annual UOCAVA 
        reports to issue best practices for UOCAVA voters used 
        by legislatures to improve voting for military members 
        abroad.
        
 LEAC publishes materials in more than half a 
        dozen languages, ensuring that eligible voters who 
        speak a primary language other than English are able to 
        effectively cast their ballot as intended and are never 
        disfranchised because of a language barrier.
    The debacle of the 2000 presidential election led to the 
creation of the EAC. ``The agency has outlived its purpose'' is 
a popular argument from the Majority, though we saw in the 2012 
presidential election, particularly in the interminably long 
lines voters faced, that election administration is far from 
perfect. Elections administration is an ever-changing and often 
unpredictable business and it's shortsighted and foolhardy to 
proclaim that the only agency tasked with improving it has no 
purpose.
    The Democrats of the Committee on House Administration 
offered an amendment to H.R. 1994 that reauthorized the EAC, to 
allow the agency to continue their important mission. It called 
for the EAC to determine the extent to which our polling places 
are accessible for disabled voters pursuant to the Americans 
with Disabilities Act to ensure all voters can cast a ballot. 
The amendment also tasked the EAC with determining the most 
cost-effective methods to administer elections as well as 
methods for increasing the cost-effectiveness and efficacy of 
the agency itself. Finally, the amendment would have provided 
more transparency in the testing and certification of voting 
machines by establishing an escrow account to prevent machine 
manufacturers from paying directly the laboratories auditing 
their machines, and would have made information about the 
testing and certification results available to the public.
    Unfortunately, the amendment was rejected on a voice vote.
    The singular goal of the EAC is to improve election 
administration in our federal elections. Though the agency's 
services are often overlooked, particularly in light of the 
constant attempts to abolish it, elections officials from 
across the country and on both sides of the aisle will attest 
to its value. Standing up for the EAC means standing up for the 
franchise that so many have worked so hard to expand. We must 
protect that sacred right and preserve the EAC.
                                   Robert A. Brady.
                                   Zoe Lofgren.
                                   Juan Vargas.