WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to the confirmation of nominees to the Election Assistance Commission, which was established by the landmark election reform law the Help America Vote Act. Congressman Hoyer was the chief Democratic House sponsor of the law:
“I congratulate the U.S. Senate for putting politics aside and confirming Gracia M. Hillman, Raymondo Martinez, Paul DeGregorio, and Deforest Soaries Jr. to the new bipartisan Election Assistance Commission (EAC). These confirmations, in addition to the $1.5 billion in funding Congress will appropriate in the Fiscal Year 2004 Omnibus Appropriations Conference Report, can significantly improve the conduct of elections next year.
“The EAC is the centerpiece of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, landmark voting reform legislation designed to ensure fair and accurate elections in this country and prevent a repeat of the 2000 presidential debacle. The EAC will provide essential guidance to states in the area of election and registration procedures, distribute federal grants to help states pay for voting upgrades, and develop new technical standards for voting machines.
“However, with deadlines looming for states to start making election system improvements, it is critical that the Commission is up and running as soon as practicably possible if there is to be timely advances in the conduct of elections.”