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INDIANAPOLIS – In a nearly unanimous bipartisan decision, Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita and other state chief election officials today voted in favor of extending a resolution urging Congress to dissolve the Federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and return the responsibility to craft smart, fair voting polices back to state and local officials.
“Congress should preserve the states' abilities to serve as independent laboratories of change through thoughtful and well-planned innovations in election reform, as stated within the Constitution, and not require taxpayers to foot the bill for an ever-growing, ineffective and constitutionally baseless bureaucracy,” Secretary Rokita said. “Indiana is a shining example of cost-effective, accurate and innovative election reform that has installed confidence in the process for voters and taxpayers.”
Currently, under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), the EAC serves as an independent, bipartisan commission responsible for developing guidelines to meet HAVA requirements. Additionally, the EAC is responsible for adopting voluntary voting system rules, certifying voting equipment and accrediting voting system laboratories.
However, Secretary Rokita along with numerous secretaries of state who make up the National Association of Secretary of States (NASS) believes the EAC has accomplished its original goals under HAVA and should be dissolved. Furthermore, no new EAC commissioners have been confirmed despite the expiration of two of the commissioners’ terms in December 2009 as well as the vacancy of a third commissioner in February 2009.
NASS is currently holding its 2010 Summer Conference in Providence, R.I., where members voted by a bipartisan voice vote 24-2 to extend the resolution today.
“Allowing the EAC to evolve into a regulatory body is contrary to the spirit and letter of the United States Constitution and the Help America Vote Act of 2002,” Secretary Rokita said. “Discontinuing the EAC is appropriate since it achieved its initial goals and would ultimately save taxpayer dollars.”
Secretary Rokita was one of the original authors of the resolution which was first adopted in 2005. He served as NASS president from 2007 to 2008, and has also advised the federal government on election reform matters as a member of the EAC’s Board of Advisors.
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