(From the diaries by susanbhu.) Cross-posted at my blog Penndit: It’s embarrassing how poorly run many precincts are, and how some states have the dumbest election laws (Ohio’s paper weight law). And we know that there are all of these problems.

Yet, the chairman of the voting reform panel (started after the 2000 debacle) quits because there isn’t enough commitment from the government. (AP story) More below:

WASHINGTON – The first chairman of a federal voting agency created after the 2000 election dispute is resigning, saying the government has not shown enough commitment to reform.


“All four of us had to work without staff, without offices, without resources. I don’t think our sense of personal obligation has been matched by a corresponding sense of commitment to real reform from the federal government,” he said.

Soaries, a Republican former New Jersey secretary of state, was the White House’s pick to join the Election Assistance Commission, created by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to help states enact voting reforms.

A Baptist minister, Soaries was confirmed by the Senate in December 2003 and elected the independent agency’s first chairman by his three fellow commissioners. His term as chairman ended in January 2005 and since then he has stayed on as a commission member.

Soaries and the other commissioners complained from the beginning that the group was underfunded and neglected by the lawmakers who created it.


Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer (news, bio, voting record), the No. 2 House Democrat and a lead sponsor of the Help America Vote Act, said Soaries’ resignation underscored a need to give the commission adequate resources.

“I hope this administration and Congress seriously consider Mr. Soaries’ observations as we develop the fiscal year 2006 budget,” Hoyer said.

The commission also has run into opposition from state officials accustomed to running their own elections and wary of federal involvement. Earlier this year, the National Association of Secretaries of State approved a resolution asking Congress to dissolve the Election Assistance Commission after 2006.

But Soaries said that despite his frustration and Congress’ lack of engagement, he saw a lasting role for the Election Assistance Commission.

Anyone have a list of those Secretary of States who have opposed the commission’s efforts?  

In any case, I’m glad that our House Minority Whip got a quote in there.  The Bush admin’s quote was just that they were going to nominate someone to the post soon.  

Whoever replaces Soaries ought to have $$$ and resources to fix things.  Paper trails, please.

Lobby your Congressional representatives for money for this commission.

And since the Democrats seem to be the only ones expressing even a smidgen of interest in this, donations go here:

The NRCC and RNC are raking in the cash.  The vulnerable Republicans have almost 70% more cash-on-hand than the vulnerable Republicans from 2003.  That’s before the money that ROMP (NRCC’s Retain Our Majority group) gives to those vulnerable Republicans.  RNC has millions more than the DNC.  Send some cash along.  The Dems have done some good things of late.  If you were happy with the Senate Dems performance in the Bolton hearings, send some cash to the DSCC.  Corzine posted about the Darfur Accountability Act. Salazar and Pryor spoke out against the radical religious right and their cynical hijacking of religion. House Dems are going after the ethics issue hard, and called the Republicans on their bluff (Delay “investigation”).  Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) on handling the Tom DeLay predicament: “We’re not going to meet with an Ethics Committee that is neutered by the Republican leadership” (“Fox News Sunday”, via WakeupCall).  They’ve also have demanded answers on the Denver Three.  

The Dems aren’t perfect, but they’ve come through.  Reward good behavior.

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