ABSTRACT

Help America Vote Act and Election Administration: Overview and Issues [February 3, 2014]   [open pdf - 337KB]

"The deadlocked November 2000 presidential election focused national attention on previously obscure details of election administration. Even before the U.S. Supreme Court had resolved the election in December, numerous bills to address the failings of the election system were introduced in Congress and state legislatures. The response at the federal level was the Help America Vote Act (HAVA; P.L. 107-252), enacted in 2002. HAVA created the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), established a set of election administration requirements, and provided federal funding, but did not supplant state and local control over election administration. Several issues have arisen or persisted in the years since HAVA was enacted. This report provides background information about HAVA and its provisions, the EAC, funding for the agency and for state programs to improve elections, and a number of enduring election administration issues. With respect to the EAC, some observers have criticized it for being too obtrusive, or for being slow, ineffectual, or even unnecessary. Others believe that the agency is an important resource for improving the administration of elections and has been hampered by budgetary constraints and difficulties in the nomination process for commissioners. In terms of election administration, HAVA promoted the use of electronic voting systems to facilitate voting by persons with disabilities, which subsequently raised concerns about security and reliability and led many states to require voter-verifiable paper ballot records. Similarly, HAVA's voter-identification provisions did not resolve the controversy over whether more stringent requirements are needed to prevent voter fraud, or whether such requirements are more likely to disenfranchise legitimate voters."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RS20898
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2014-02-03
Series:
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Via E-mail
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
Help with citations