Election Assistance Commission
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) was created by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and "charged with administering voluntary guidelines for election requirements under HAVA, maintaining a clearinghouse of information regarding election administration procedures including testing and certification of election equipment, and administering the Election Assistance and Help America Vote Programs," according to the EAC's April 27, 2004 press release. The EAC, made up of four members chosen by party leaders and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, held its inaugural meeting on March 23, 2004.
The EAC is also in charge of disbursing $2.7 billion in grants to U.S. states and territories to "upgrade election equipment." On May 5, 2004, the EAC will hold its first public meeting "to receive information on the use, security and reliability of electronic voting devices." Five "distinct and diverse panels of witnesses" will testify at the meeting, including "a Technology Panel, Vendor Panel, Election Administrator Panel, Research Panel and Advocacy Organization Panel."
According to The Washington Post, EAC commissioners make about $134,000 a year.
- Paul DeGregorio - Chair, Republican; "an executive vice president of the pro-electronic voting International Foundation for Election Systems and former director of elections for St. Louis County, Missouri."
- Raymundo Martinez III - Vice Chairman, Democrat; "a lawyer from Austin, Texas, former presidential assistant for intergovernmental affairs and former and Department of Health and Human Services staff person, both with the Clinton administration."
- Gracia M. Hillman - Democrat; former executive director of the League of Women Voters and former senior coordinator of international women's issues at the U.S. Department of State. Reappointed June 12, 2007, "for the remainder of a four-year term expiring" December 12, 2009.
- Donnetta Davidson - Republican; former Colorado Secretary of State and former holder of County and State offices in Colorado. "Davidson is an advocate of electronic voting and in a 2004 conference on voting security, hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, warned that 'in recounts when the paper doesn't match the machine tally there will be no way to know which total to trust and 'we'll end up in court.'"
Former Chairman of the EAC was DeForest Soaries Jr, a Baptist minister, and a Republican who was former New Jersey Secretary of State under then-Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, who claimed that critics are blowing problems with electronic voting machines out of proportion (as quoted by The Washington Post on February 17, 2004: "We have some flaws, but the truth is that the error rates are very small, with all technologies. Legislators are proposing solutions to a problem that doesn't exist. They're talking about 'What if?' scenarios.") pdf
"We're a very diverse commission," Soaries told The Washington Post. "We have a Hispanic lawyer, an Italian administrator, an African American executive and a Baptist preacher."
U.S. Eelection Assistance Commission
1225 New York Ave. NW - Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
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- Dan Keating; "Election Panel Tells States Money Will Be Coming: $2.3 Billion to Be Disbursed for Voting Upgrades", Washington Post, February 17, 2004; A.17. (PDF)
- Ian Urbina, "Panel Said to Alter Finding on Voter Fraud," New York Times, April 11, 2007.