“The Election Assistance Commission has fulfilled its function and is now a perfect example of unnecessary and wasteful spending,” committee Chairman Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) wrote in Thursday’s letter.
Committee Democrats responded swiftly to the recommendation, claiming that terminating the EAC would instead lead to problems.
“Such a move would actually increase the cost of elections, shift expenses to already burdened state and local budgets, and diminish the quality and transparency of elections nationwide,” according to a statement released Friday.
“This continues a Republican effort to return the EAC’s voting machine certification responsibilities to the Federal Election Commission, the same agency whose failure to properly handle the process led to the nightmare recount in Florida in 2000 and creation of EAC under the Help America Vote Act,” the statement continued.
House Democrats also contend that eliminating the commission would raise trouble come the next Election Day.
“There is only one agency in the entire federal government ... focused on helping state and local governments run clean and cost-efficient elections,” wrote elections subcommittee ranking member Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas).
“I cannot put a price on our democracy, but it would be the height of recklessness to do away with that agency when election officials tell us they most need the assistance that only EAC has or can provide,” he added.
According to Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), “Eliminating the EAC will only shift the cost of administering elections to our state and local governments, which are already working with limited state budgets.”
“As we head into another presidential election cycle, I for one do not want to see another fiasco like what we endured in 2000,” she said, according to the statement. “It seems Republicans are more interested in keeping people from the polls than protecting the right to vote.”
Committee Democrats urged the supercommittee not to consider Republicans’ recommendation, claiming “it will only serve to increase costs while undermining public confidence in the electoral system,” the statement concluded.