FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 23, 2017
Local Site Visit, Secretary of State Steve Simon,
Speakers from Department of Defense, Homeland Security Shape Agenda
Minneapolis – Today, members of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) Board of Advisors kick off their two-day meeting in Minneapolis to discuss the accessibility, accuracy and security of federal elections. Yesterday, Board of Advisors members toured the Minneapolis elections office and attended a discussion with Grace Wachlarowicz, Assistant City Clerk and Director of Elections and Voter Services.
“We are pleased to host the EAC Board of Advisors meeting in Minneapolis,” said EAC Vice Chair Thomas Hicks, the board’s Designated Federal Officer. “This is the perfect place for board members to examine cutting-edge strategies to improve voter experience, best practices to safeguard election infrastructure, as well as ways to ensure election accessibility for all voters.”
Today’s meeting begins with a video welcome from U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and will later feature a keynote address from Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon. It will also feature presentations from EAC Chairman Matthew Masterson and Vice-Chairman Thomas Hicks, who is the board’s Designated Federal Officer, as well as presentations from election experts from across the nation and representatives from the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. The meeting, which concludes tomorrow, is open to press and the public to attend.
The EAC Board of Advisors meeting takes place as news headlines are shaped by concerns stemming from alleged voting irregularities, cyberattacks, voter accessibility and aging election equipment across the country. It also follows the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s January 2017 decision to designate election systems as part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. The Board of Advisors meeting will tackle these timely issues and many others, including standards for the next generation of voting system certification guidelines, how best to serve military and overseas voters and how the EAC plans to support state and local election administrators in their work to improve voter experience and election procedures.
The EAC Board of Advisors was established under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and is comprised of 37 members who assist the EAC in carrying out its mandates under the law. Among its members are the following groups, as specified by HAVA (two members appointed by each): National Governors Association; National Conference of State Legislatures; National Association of Secretaries of State; The National Association of State Election Directors; National Association of Counties; The National Association of County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks; The U.S. Conference of Mayors; Election Center; International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Election Officials, and Treasurers; U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; and Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board. Other members include representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Public Integrity, and the Civil Rights Division; the director of the U.S. Department of Defense Federal Voting Assistance Program; four professionals from the field of science and technology, one each appointed by the Speaker and the Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Majority and Minority leaders of the U.S. Senate; and eight members representing voter interests, with the chairs and the ranking minority members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on House Administration and the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration each appointing two members.
Click here to view a meeting agenda lists all events that are open to members of the media. Space is limited, so reporters wishing to attend are asked to reserve their spot by contacting Brenda Bowser Soder at email@example.com or 202-897-9285 (mobile). In addition, Soder will coordinate all interview requests for specific speakers.
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The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) was established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). It is an independent, bipartisan commission charged with ensuring secure, accurate and accessible elections by developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, and serving as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration. EAC also accredits testing laboratories and certifies voting systems, as well as administers the use of HAVA funds. For more information, visit www.eac.gov.