The Election Assistance Commission has admonished the nation's largest manufacturer of voting equipment for making misleading claims in some of its marketing materials.
The federal agency's upbraiding of Election Systems & Software was prompted by a complaint from two good-government groups, Free Speech for People and the National Election Defense Coalition, which discovered that ES&S was claiming that one of its voting machines with a modem option was EAC certified.
The EAC action is significant because the agency has been criticized for not aggressively monitoring the voting machine industry, which is one of its principal assignments. The small but primary agency overseeing how states conduct voting has struggled through a leadership change, turnover and budget cutbacks in the runup to this November's election but has been starting to rebuild itself in recent months.
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Organizer: Election Assistance Commission
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission Commissioners will oversee a virtual hearing including testimony from state and local election officials. Panelists will discuss the challenges they faced during the 2020 primary elections, how they met those challenges, and how they plan to manage the general elections during the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics include poll worker recruitment and training; absentee and mail voting management; in-person voting location management; and result recording, accuracy, and setting expectations. The agenda includes remarks from panel participants and a question and answer portion from the Commissioners.
After staying vacant almost a year, the top two jobs have been filled at the Election Assistance Commission, the principal federal agency overseeing how states conduct voting.
The commissioners formally made the hires on Wednesday. The moves could help stabilize the EAC after years of turnover, controversy and inconsistent funding.
The appointments come just five months before the presidential election, and in the middle of a primary season when the coronavirus pandemic has created delays and chaos across the country, most recently this week in Georgia.
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States will get $400 million to make voting in the coronavirus presidential election easier and safer, but with almost no strings attached, under the massive economic recovery package unveiled Wednesday.
The pot of money in the nearly $2 trillion stimulus deal, on a fast track to pass the Senate by day's end with the House vote timetable uncertain, is the result of an unusually intense and coordinated lobbying campaign by some of the major players in the democracy reform movement.
While celebrating a rare victory for one of their causes, some groups nonetheless said they would seek much more money in what's likely to be another pandemic response package from Congress this spring. These groups warned the initial infusion of cash will prove insufficient to prevent justifiable anxiety about voting this fall, and that an absence of any legislative mandates will allow too much of the grant money to get spent unwisely.
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