The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) specifies that four commissioners are nominated by the President on recommendations from the majority and minority leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. No more than two commissioners may belong to the same political party. Once confirmed by the full Senate, commissioners may serve two consecutive terms. HAVA states that members of the commission shall continue to serve past their expired term until a successor takes office. There is one vacancy on the commission.
EAC’s New Commissioners
Christy McCormick, Thomas Hicks and Matthew Masterson were sworn in January 13, 2015 as EAC commissioners following their nomination by the President and unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
Commissioner Christy McCormick, Chair
Christy McCormick was nominated by President Barack H. Obama and confirmed by unanimous consent of the United States Senate on December 16, 2014 to serve on the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). Her term of service extends through December 12, 2015.
Prior to her appointment with EAC, Commissioner McCormick served as a Senior Trial Attorney in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice, a position she held from 2006 until this year. In this role Ms. McCormick was responsible for investigating and prosecuting violations of federal voting statutes, including the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) and the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE). Additionally, Ms. McCormick worked with election officials to monitor compliance with the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE), the Voting Rights Act minority language requirements, and administration of elections. She has observed numerous elections, mentored and worked with election officials in polling places all across America.
Ms. McCormick was detailed by the Deputy Attorney General to be Senior Attorney Advisor and Acting Deputy Rule of Law Coordinator in the Office of the Rule of Law Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq from 2009 to 2010, where she worked on the Iraq national elections and on rule of law matters. Ms. McCormick was a U.S. elections expert in Iraq observing and monitoring the 2010 Iraq National elections, providing assistance and advice to the Independent High Electoral Commission and witnessing an extensive 12-day election re-count. She was a rule of law liaison to the Kurdish Regional Government and a liaison to rule of law advisors at the Provincial Reconstruction Teams.
Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Ms. McCormick served as a Judicial Clerk to the Honorable Elizabeth A. McClanahan in the Court of Appeals of Virginia from 2003 to 2006. Ms. McCormick was an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant to the Solicitor General in the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia from 2001 to 2003. She was a Judicial Law Clerk in the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court from 1999 to 2001.
Ms. McCormick received her B.A. from the University of Buffalo and a J.D. with honors from the George Mason University School of Law, and also attended the William & Mary School of Law.
Commissioner Thomas Hicks, Vice-Chair
Thomas Hicks was nominated by President Barack H. Obama and confirmed by unanimous consent of the United States Senate on December 16, 2014 to serve on the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). His term of service extends through December 12, 2017.
Prior to his appointment with EAC, Commissioner Hicks served as a Senior Elections Counsel and Minority Elections Counsel on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on House Administration, a position he held from 2003 to 2014. In this role Mr. Hicks was responsible for issues relating to campaign finance, election reform, contested elections and oversight of both the Election Assistance Commission and Federal Election Commission. His primary responsibility was advising and providing guidance to the committee members and caucus on election issues. Mr. Hicks has talked with Americans in every state about their voting experiences. In addition, he has worked with state and local election officials across America to address critical election concerns.
Prior to joining the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr. Hicks served as a Senior Lobbyist and Policy Analyst from 2001 to 2003 for Common Cause, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that empowers citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest. Mr. Hicks has enjoyed working with state and local election officials, civil rights organizations and all other stakeholders to improve the voting process.
Mr. Hicks served from 1993 to 2001 in the Clinton Administration as a Special Assistant and Legislative Assistant in the Office of Congressional Relations for the Office of Personnel Management. He served as agency liaison to the United State Congress and the President’s Administration on matters regarding Federal personnel policies and regulations.
Mr. Hicks received his J.D. from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law and his B.A. in Government from Clark University (Worcester, MA). He also studied at the University of London (London, England) and law at the University of Adelaide (Adelaide, Australia).
Commissioner Matthew Masterson
Matthew Masterson was nominated by President Barack H. Obama and confirmed by unanimous consent of the United States Senate on December 16, 2014 to serve on the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). His term of service extends through December 12, 2017.
Prior to his appointment with EAC, Commissioner Masterson served as Interim Chief of Staff for the Ohio Secretary of State, a position he held since November 2014, he previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Information Officer from 2013 to 2014, as well as Deputy Director of Elections from 2011 to 2013. In these roles Mr. Masterson was responsible for voting system certification efforts by the Secretary of State’s office including being the liaison to the Ohio Board of Voting Machine Examiners. Additionally, Mr. Masterson was in charge of Ohio’s effort to develop an online voter registration database and online ballot delivery for military and overseas voters. He is widely regarded as an expert on elections administration throughout Ohio and the country.
Prior to joining the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, Mr. Masterson held multiple roles at the Election Assistance Commission from 2006 to 2011. Mr. Masterson was Deputy Director for the EAC’s Voting System Testing and Certification Program. In this role Mr. Masterson’s primary responsibility was the creation of the next iteration of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG). Mr. Masterson worked with the EAC’s Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the creation of the TGDC’s recommended Voluntary Voting System Guidelines. In addition to these responsibilities, Mr. Masterson managed the day to day business of the EAC’s laboratory accreditation program including the creation of the EAC’s Voting System Test Laboratory Program Manual. Prior to this position Mr. Masterson joined the EAC in 2006 as a Special Assistant/Counsel to Chairman Paul DeGregorio.
Mr. Masterson was admitted to practice law in the State of Ohio in November of 2006. Mr. Masterson graduated from The University of Dayton School of Law in May 2006. At the University of Dayton Mr. Masterson served as the Chief Justice of the Moot Court program and Student Bar Association Vice President. Prior to law school Mr. Masterson received BS and BA degrees from Miami University in Oxford, OH.