Here’s how the country’s election clearinghouse prepares for the midterm

The country’s Election Clearinghouse will become its 20th year this year and has helped states and localities prepare for midterm elections using lessons learned from past election cycles as well as encouraging individuals to become a part of the voting process, says its president.

“We’re not the largest agency, we don’t have the biggest budget, but I think we’re doing a good job getting information to local people across the states,” said Thomas Hicks, the US Electoral Assistance Commission commissioner since 2014 who is currently chair of the group, said. Government Executive In a recent interview. “I don’t know what the next 20 years will look like, but I would say that it remains an independent, bipartisan agency with the goal of helping Americans cast their votes, getting these cards to accurately count the activity, and also to enable election officials to have information.”

Source: EAC

Next month marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Help America Vote Act, which introduced sweeping reforms to the voting process following issues identified after the controversial 2000 election.. This act created the Electoral Assistance Commission, which includes four commissioners and approximately 50 employees.

In addition to serving as a clearinghouse, the EAC adopts voluntary voting system guidelines and certifies voting systems. During the two decades of its existence, the East African Community has dealt Shortage of staffing and funding and home Republicans are trying to abolish it. In addition, for the past few years it has been operating amid conspiracy theories and false information about the 2020 presidential election spread by some lawmakers and the former president himself as well as threats against election and poll workers.

The highlights from the interview are below. The full version of the interview will be in the next episode of Executive government Daily podcast.

About what the EAC is doing to help state and local election officials prepare for the midterm elections.

With primary and general elections and any elections they want to try to get any information from us, we do a number of things. One goes towards our main clearinghouse function. Therefore, we collect and disseminate information from smaller jurisdictions or from other jurisdictions. The other big piece that I love about our agency now is that after 2020, during 2020, we’ve hired some experts who specialize in a number of issues and they’ve been making things up for people to use. For example, how do you conduct an audit? Create a polling place? We’ve worked with the University of Rhode Island on that. But there are a number of little things. So, when you say, what did we do? It makes me laugh because from voter registration to election night reports [that] We have provided the information [on] for the states.

Voting by mail is a controversial topic in the run-up to the 2020 election and the subject of many election-related conspiracy theories.

I would say it has worked well since it was first applied in the Civil War to soldiers. I also want to point out that all jurisdictions have some form of mail voting and that’s because of the military aspect of it… I think there are a lot of misconceptions about what voting by mail is, but it’s basically something that allows people to cast their ballots in a different way, rather than Appear at the polling place. And there are a number of safeguards put in place to ensure that if you cast one vote, this is the ticket that will be taken…. One of the big pieces today in [a conference Hicks attended] It was the postal service. Here they were talking about election day mail making sure it was received on time and so on. So, every jurisdiction is different, in terms of voting by mail whether or not they just drop the boxes or whether they have Election Day as a deadline to get that in a few days or after they let the postal service get it, but to make sure it’s mail-stamped To ensure that people don’t vote on Friday after the elections etc.

On working with the Postal Service and other federal agencies.

If you had told me before 2020 that we were going to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, what happened because we’re working with that agency? But we work with a number of different agencies, [such as] The [Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] And the Postal Service, but also the Federal Voting Assistance Program that’s out of the Department of Defense… We’ve worked with both the White House in the Trump and Biden administrations on some issues… On election security issues for election workers, we’ve worked with a number of different agencies. which have the three letters in them to ensure that election officials remain safe when only doing their jobs.

on the financing and resources of the Electoral Assistance Commission for the fiscal year 2023.

I think whatever money we get to run the agency, we’ll use that to the fullest extent to ensure we do the best job possible for taxpayers in general. But I would say there is always a need for more funding for us because our functions have expanded since 2016: fighting misinformation and exposing it, fighting other issues that have emerged in 2020, as well as the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines that we adopted last February, February 21; It is being implemented now and until it is implemented, we want to make sure that we have adequate staffing levels. One of the things that was really difficult for our agency – but we did what we could to ensure this was done quickly and accurately – is [the work of our] Grants team. When Congress appropriated the money for us to ensure that money came out quickly and in the right format. We have a dedicated staff, but I’m thinking about it while they’re moving mountains to ensure that the countries get adequate funding. The Office of the Inspector General will look at that to make sure the money is well spent or appropriately spent, but the public aspect of money I think is an interesting aspect, but I’m thinking about it where we’re going to do our part and hopefully Congress will fund us on a subtle level.

on me The challenges faced by some countries in obtaining their funds for the administration and security of elections It hopes for further action from the federal government.

From an EAC perspective, I would say that individuals can become more involved, [such as to] Work as a poll worker. There are a lot of people who have looked at issues from 2018 and 2020 and said different things, but this is an opportunity for them to be a part of the process… Yes, we will do everything within our budget to help people cast their votes and those votes are accurately counted. But this is a great opportunity for other people to join in and be a part of American democracy. We have a lot of people who say they love our country, but this is an opportunity to show that love.

In dealing with political attacks on free and fair elections such as the EAC’s bipartisan independent commission.

Well, I’m wearing a Tom Hicks hat and not my EAC hat. There have been a few individuals who have talked about integrating EAC into one of these other agencies, such as CISA. I think that would be a huge mistake because we are an independent agency. There are two Democrats here. There are two Republicans. If we can get three votes on anything, going forward, that’s a win and that shows it’s a bipartisan effort of things. Usually we get 4-0 because of these problems. But if it gets turned into an agency where the president is going to have control of that, in terms of appointments, in terms of hiring and firing or just basically dictating the agenda of that agency, I think that would be a huge problem for any independent person. agency, such as EAC.

It’s almost 20 years since October with the signing of the Help America Vote Act. I don’t know what the next 20 years will look like, but I would say that it remains an independent, bipartisan agency with the goal of helping Americans cast their votes, do accurate counting of those votes, and also enable election officials to do so. Getting Information We’re not the biggest agency, we don’t have the biggest budget, but I think we’re doing a good job getting information to local people across the states.

Anything else to add?

I think the voluntary voting system guidelines are huge. We’re going to build towards new gear, the gear we have now is bad or anything like that, but I think once you go towards something new, it has to be more refined. It should be safer. And one of the big pieces of me is those people with disabilities to make sure they can still vote independently and also confidentially and with whatever new technology we have. Regarding the general election, I would tell people to check their registration now to make sure they are registered to vote and if they are not and then once they go through the registration process to register as a polling… if you see something going wrong with the election and it gets brought up, is it corrected and fixed? And so, we will see problems in November. Any election that was held had one or two problems. Is this a reason to say that the results are not legitimate or fraudulent? number.

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