The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) directs the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to serve as a national clearinghouse and resource by, among other things, conducting studies with the goal of improving the administration of federal elections. To fulfill this mandate, the EAC has entered into contracts with a variety of persons and entities. Reports adopted by the EAC, a bipartisan federal entity, are likely to be cited as authoritative in public discourse. Prior to the EAC’s adopting a report submitted by a contractor, the EAC has the responsibility to ensure its accuracy and to verify that conclusions are supported by the underlying research.
The Commission takes input and constructive criticism from Congress and the public very seriously. We will take a hard look at the way we do business. Specifically, we will examine both the manner in which we have awarded contracts and our decision-making process regarding the release of research and reports. The EAC takes its mandates very seriously, and we will continue to move forward in a bipartisan way to improve the way America votes.
EAC is an independent bipartisan commission created by HAVA. It is charged with administering payments to states and developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, implementing election administration improvements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, accrediting voting system test laboratories and certifying voting equipment and serving as a national clearinghouse and resource of information regarding election administration. The four EAC commissioners are Donetta Davidson, chair; Rosemary Rodriguez, Caroline Hunter and Gracia Hillman.
This comes on the heels of questions regarding how the EAC has released the results from two research studies, on election fraud and voter identification.