Extremist Bill to Eliminate Crucial Federal Election Assistance Commission Fails to Pass House

NAACP-Opposed Extremist Bill to Eliminate Crucial Federal Election Assistance Commission Fails to Pass House of Representatives

COMMISSION CREATED TO PREVENT ELECTORAL DEBACLES AS DEMONSTRATED IN THE 2000 ELECTION SUPPORTS STATE AND LOCAL ELECTION OFFICIALS TO ENSURE THAT EVERY ELIGIBLE AMERICAN WHO WANTS TO CAST AN UNFETTERED VOTE CAN WITHOUT INTERFERENCE AND THAT THEIR VOTE IS COUNTED

On Wednesday, June 22, 2011, the US House of Representatives failed to pass H.R. 672, an extremist bill to eliminate the NAACP-supported and much needed Election Assistance Commission. Though extremist supporters got a majority of the votes (the final vote was 254 yeas to 187 nays) they did not get the 2/3 vote necessary under the rules of the House to pass the bill onto the Senate. Supporters of the legislation have said they will bring the legislation up in the near future under regular rules so a simple majority will result in passage.

In response to the myriad of problems that plagued the 2000 Presidential election, Congress in October 2002 passed the NAACP strongly supported Help America Vote Act. This important legislation addressed many of the disenfranchising problems which came to light in the 2000 election and moved our Nation closer to the democratic goal of allowing every eligible American to cast an unfettered vote and to be assured that their vote would be counted.

A crucial component of the Help America Vote Act was the creation of the Election Assistance Commission. This bipartisan commission was established to act as a clearinghouse of information and as a resource to state and local election officials who want to employ the most current technology and best practices when overseeing elections. The Election Assistance Commission also oversees voting-system testing and certification. Through research, grant-making and the development of voting guidelines, the Election Assistance Commission is helping many groups which had heretofore been disenfranchised gain their Constitutional right to vote, including racial and ethnic minorities, members of the Armed Services (especially those serving overseas), disabled Americans and senior citizens. Since its creation the Election Assistance Commission had been admirable, especially in light of the fact that it has never been adequately funded.

Sadly, some extremist Members of Congress do not agree on the need to help election officials ensure that the right to vote for every American is protected. Thus they have been pushing for passage of H.R. 672, misguided legislation to dismantle the crucial Election Assistance Commission within 60 days of enactment.

THE NAACP STRONGLY SUPPORTS THE ELECTION ASSISTANCE COMMISSION, SUPPORTS PROVIDING FULL FUNDING FOR THIS MUCH-NEEDED AGENCY AND OPPOSES H.R. 672

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