'Election assistance'? Don't look here
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, 8:52 p.m.
The prospect of this neck-and-neck presidential election becoming a rerun of 2000's Bush v. Gore would be less worrisome if a federal agency created 10 years ago to help avoid that scenario weren't today what Roll Call deems “a shell of what Congress designed it to be.”
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission's four seats — two Democrat, two Republican, with vacancies having to be filled in tandem — are vacant due to congressional gridlock. Its executive director quit in 2011, its general counsel in May. It hasn't had a quorum of three commissioners to conduct business in nearly two years. And most of its $3 billion-plus in Help America Vote Act funding has been spent.
The original commissioners, Roll Call reports, took bipartisan consensus seriously. But after a Republican member left in February 2007, the commission became increasingly mired in partisan gamesmanship.
Fair, transparent elections, which should be everyone's goal, are more likely when the commission can carry out its educational mission — improving election administration, serving as a clearinghouse for voluntary voting-system guidelines and best practices, developing certification guidelines for testing voting machines and ensuring upgrades of states' voting technology.
Because public confidence in elections underpins public trust in government, restoring the Election Assistance Commission to what it should be — fully staffed and fully functional — must be a high priority for the next Congress.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘Un-American’? That’s Harry Reid, the Senate’s lowly smear artist
- The market speaks: Cadillac dealers reject another electric folly
- Market perversions: Chrysler retreats
- Sunday pops
- THE BOX
- The new SAT: Rigor gets a pass
- The CBO exposes the fallacies of hiking the minimum wage
- Fixing Ford City’s water leaks: Time is money
- Greensburg Tuesday takes
- More reefer sanity
- Pittsburgh Tuesday takes