New York, NY—Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3463, a bill that would effectively terminate the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and federal financing for presidential election campaigns. Demos, a non-partisan public policy research and advocacy organization committed to building an America which achieves its highest democratic ideals, vehemently opposes this legislation.
After today’s vote, Miles Rapoport, Demos President and former Secretary of the State of Connecticut, issued the following statement:
"Today’s passage of H.R. 3463 was shocking. The last thing the House of Representatives should do is intentionally diminish our democracy, but that is exactly what H.R. 3463 would do by further amplifying the outsized voices of special interests and by undermining fundamental election administration across the nation.
"A vote to abolish public financing for presidential election campaigns gives increased resonance to the perception that our politics caters to the wealthy and well-connected, not to the average American. This is particularly galling after thousands of Americans took to the streets in the Occupy Wall Street movement demanding their rightful voice in our democracy.
“Further, terminating the Election Assistance Commission would greatly hinder the efficacy, reliability, and trustworthiness of our nation’s election systems. The EAC is recognized around the world for its leadership – from its award-winning website to training more than 8,000 election administrators – in improving election integrity and citizens’ trust in democratic institutions.
“Elections are the lifeblood of a democracy. The House should be working to create a stronger democracy that encourages voting and lessens the dominance of special interest dollars in public debate. We strongly urge the Senate to reject any similar legislation and for both chambers to expand public financing through the Fair Election Now Act and to support the Election Assistance Commission with robust resources.”
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