WASHINGTON – Representative Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a misguided piece of legislation to abolish the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), Congress created the commission in the aftermath of the 2000 election to upgrade voting systems across the country as part of the Help America Vote Act. The bill, H.R. 672, failed to pass under a suspension of the rules, which require a two-thirds majority, by a vote of 235-187.
“The right to vote is one of the most sacred rights we have in this country. Blood was shed and lives were lost in defense of this right, and every effort should be taken to protect it. Sadly, Congress has voted to roll back the clock and place the integrity of future elections in jeopardy.
“The nation does have serious fiscal challenges and we need to take real action to get spending under control. However, closing the Election Assistance Commission, which we know saves states millions of dollars by testing voting systems and developing best practices, would be penny-wise and pound-foolish. Congress created the commission in the aftermath of the disastrous 2000 presidential election to provide our cities and states with funding to upgrade their voting machines, train poll workers and improve access for disabled voters, and now is not the time close its doors.
“We have an obligation to ensure our elections are free and fair, and we should be looking for solutions that improve the EAC’s efficiency, not ending it altogether. I strongly urge my colleagues in the Senate to reject this ill-advised piece of legislation.”