Why the EAC must be abolished

From: Nancy Tobi <ntobi_at_democracyfornewhampshire_dot_com>
Date: Mon Mar 19 2007 - 09:21:57 CDT

Why the Election Assistance Commission must be abolished

*Why the EAC Must Be Abolished*
By Nancy Tobi, ntobi@democracyfornewhampshire.com

*The democratic processes of the American Republic are based on
decentralized power. Centralized power led to the American Revolution.
Centralized power is the antithesis of a government of the people, by the
people, and for the people.*

*1. Centralization of Executive Power—White House Control over Counting the
Votes:* Current legislative proposals , such as the Holt Bill or Clinton's
election reform bill, include extending beyond the existing expiry date the
power and authority of the Election Assistance Commission (EAC),
establishing a Presidential Commission authorized to control the counting of
votes in every election--federal, state, and local--in the nation.

*2. Centralization of Executive Power—Crony Appointments:* The potential for
stacking of the EAC is evident in the scenario already played out under the
current Administration. In early 2006, the Bush White House made numerous
recess appointments, putting political appointees into positions of power
and authority without any Congressional oversight or checks and balances. Of
the eight recess appointments made on January 4, 2006, three were
Commissioners to the Federal Election Commission. Two of those appointed
Commissioners are known for their opposition to voting rights and clean
elections. The third is a political crony of Senate Minority Leader Reid of

*3. Centralization of Executive Power—Regulatory Authority:* Federal
regulatory authority means the federal entity preempts state and local
authorities. In the matter of elections, this becomes a Constitutional issue
because the US Constitution wisely endowed the States with authority over
election administration. This enforces decentralization of power, which is a
foundational building block for American democratic processes. HAVA created
the EAC as an advisory commission with one exception: it was granted
regulatory authority over the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). The
EAC has been steadily positioning and even suing to assert its regulatory
authority in other areas under its domain.* Even if it does not succeed
through litigation, the EAC could, with the insertion of a single line of
text in ANY congressional act, become regulatory.* *This is how the FEC
gained regulatory powers.* A regulatory EAC means that a Presidential
Commission—potentially stacked with political cronies—would have legal
decision making and enforcement power over the following areas, for every
state in the nation:

   - Which voting systems are approved for use in our elections
   - Who counts the votes in every election
   - How votes are counted in every election
   - How recounts are administered and how their outcomes are determined

 An editorial in the New York Times, entitled* "Strong Arming the
Vote"*(August 3, 2006) describes how the Department of Justice under
the Bush
Administration has been heavily involved in partisan ploys to negate
necessary checks and balances in election practices.

*Any legislation that makes permanent the EAC will establish a whole new arm
of Executive power with dangerous authority to subvert the entire democratic
process of elections that supports our system of government. It would
result, in effect, in a bloodless coup.
** *

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Nancy Tobi, Chair
Democracy for New Hampshire
DFNH Fair Elections Committee
PO Box 717 | Concord, NH 03301
Nancy Tobi, Chair
Democracy for New Hampshire
DFNH Fair Elections Committee
PO Box 717 | Concord, NH 03301

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Received on Sat Mar 31 23:17:07 2007

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