Help America Vote Act and Election Administration: Overview and Issues [May 27, 2015] [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. […] In the 114th Congress, H.R. 195 was reported by the Committee on House Administration on March 4, 2015; it would eliminate the EAC and transfer its functions to the Federal Election Commission. Similar legislation was introduced in the 113th and 112th Congresses, and one bill was passed in the House in the 112th Congress. Appropriations bills that passed in the House for FY [Fiscal Year] 2014 and FY2015 included no funds for the EAC, although funding was included in the final legislation. Other legislation introduced thus far includes bills that would make changes to a variety of election administration topics (see the '114th Congress' subsection of this report for bill details)."
CRS Report for Congress, RS20898