Dear Chairman Harper and Ranking Member Brady:
I am writing on behalf of the AFL-CIO to urge Congress to reject the Election Assistance Commission Termination Act (H.R. 634) and the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act (H.R. 133). There is no reason to eliminate the only federal agency designed to improve election administration and voting systems or to destroy the presidential public financing system.
The Election Assistance Commission Termination Act (H.R. 634) would eliminate the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and transfer its functions to the already overburdened Federal Election Commission. The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) was established to help foster more equal treatment of voters in jurisdictions throughout the country. The EAC is the only federal agency designed to direct services and programs under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and the National Voter Registration Act. Technical experts, state and local election officials, and the public use unique EAC publications, such as the “Glossary of Key Election Terminology.” The EAC also plays a vital role in services critical to a functioning democracy: improving accessibility for the more than 37 million voters with disabilities, testing and certifying voting equipment to guide states in their voting machine choices, formatting voter registration forms, and translating voter instructions into multiple languages. Instead of eliminating the EAC, Congress should give it the resources it needs to expand its work.
The Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act (H.R. 133) would eliminate the Presidential Election Campaign Fund (PECF), a limited mechanism for the public financing of presidential elections. Candidates of both parties have used the PECF for decades because it is the only existing vehicle for the public financing of presidential elections. Congress should not destroy the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, but should instead modernize it to give everyday citizens a greater voice.
The AFL-CIO urges Congress to reject efforts to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission and the Presidential Election Campaign Fund.
William Samuel, Director Government Affairs