Cook County Clerk David Orr Statement on House Committee Vote to Eliminate Election Assistance Commission

February 7, 2017
Press Release

I am appalled by the House Republicans’ committee vote to eliminate the bipartisan, independent Election Assistance Commission.

The EAC was created by Congress after the disastrous 2000 Florida recount in order to upgrade voting technology and provide election-related information to federal entities, state officials and election administrators. The guidance they provide has been crucial to election administrators across the United States.

As we continue to learn about foreign influence over the November election, authorities across the country need trusted bipartisan guidance. The EAC isn’t government “fluff” as it was described by the chairman of the House Administration Committee today, but rather its existence is further recognition that free and fair elections are the true heartbeat of American democracy.

Curiously and simultaneously, the new presidential administration also seeks to entrust a White House commission – led by the Vice President – to investigate unsubstantiated claims of “voter fraud.”

The recent dangerous rhetoric and actions taken regarding our nation’s electoral process undermine our democracy and the good work of many election officials and poll workers throughout the nation.

The same Republican-led committee today also voted to end the public financing option for presidential campaigns. This would eliminate the possibility of public financed campaigns. The door to uncontrolled spending on presidential campaigns was already opened in recent years, aided by the Citizens United case, but today we are one step closer to that door being been blown away.

Many election administrators throughout this country work to ensure that our elections are run fairly, honestly and accurately. We will continue to do so in spite of the challenges ahead.