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Ryan Refuses to Reappoint GOP Election Commissioner

by Countable | 3.9.18

What’s the story?

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is reported by Politico to have declined to reappoint Matthew V. Masterson, one of two GOP Commissioners to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), raising outcry from both sides of the aisle. But what even is the EAC?

The EAC emerged out of the kerfuffle over the Bush v. Gore election. It was created by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to operate as a clearinghouse for election resources and information on voting systems, as well as a certifier of voting equipment.

The agency has four commissioners, which are chosen by the House majority and minority leaders, then referred to the White House for formal nomination to the Senate for confirmation. Since its inception, the agency has struggled to keep a quorum of three commissioners in place, having been accused of political bias at various points from both sides of the aisle.

Three commissioners have been in place since 2014, however, and Matthew V. Masterson rotated into the chairman position in February of 2017. In the wake of exposure of Russian election interference during the 2016 presidential election Politico notes that, "[Masterson] won praise from state officials and cyber experts of both parties for handling election security in an objective, nonpartisan way."

Masterson’s four-year appointment expired in December, but he expressed interest in reappointment. Ryan's staff maintain that the appointment process is the same as it's always been, and he simply wants to appoint his "own folks".

News of Masterson’s departure is focusing attention on the remaining Republican commissioner, Christy McCormick.

McCormick sat on the president’s voter fraud commission and has pushed back against the notion of election security as an urgent concern. She openly opposed moves by the Department of Homeland Security in 2016 to designate election systems as "critical infrastructure".

Critics of Ryan’s decision fear the appointment of another Republican who shares McCormick’s views could stymie federal efforts to push for greater election security.

Some Republicans in the House have taken legislative steps to try and terminate the agency, while Democrats have tried to push for the EAC to be put in charge of disbursing $1 billion in federal election security grants.

What do you think?

What kind of commissioner would you like to see Ryan choose? Does that person need to feel that election security is an urgent concern or not? Should they focus on concerns about voter fraud? Should the EAC be empowered to disburse federal election security grants, or should that be left to the Federal Election Commission?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(125)
  • Michael.J.L
    02/23/2018
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    Trump and the GOP are already planning to fix the Nov 2018 mid-term elections. They know they do not have the support of the majority of Americans, so if you can't win fairly...cheat. A good reason for EVERYONE eligible to vote to do so. In some countries voters turned out at the risk of their lives to cast their vote. We have no excuse not to.

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  • S
    02/23/2018
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    Ryan working for Putin to support Trump? Sure seems like it especially since he has not made security of election systems a priority or addressed the requirement of applying sanctions to Russia in violation of the law Congress passed. Is he hoping that when the Russians interfere again that it will be okey dokey as long as Republicans hold the majority? Ryan obviously has his own agenda and believes he can do whatever he wants. He has crossed the red line here, and his motives are suspect.

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  • Robert
    02/23/2018
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    Republicans are not interested in fair elections. They don’t even seem to care that Russia meddled in our election. Too bad they can’t put country ahead of party.

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  • Donna
    02/23/2018
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    This is another confusing move by GOP leadership. Growing up, I believed the GOP was the party that supported the Constitution, strictly believed and supported law enforcement and the rule of law. What has become of the Republicans of old? Ryan had my support for about 15 seconds back in his 'Never Trump' minute. Now, he seems to be taking his queues from the corrupt autocrat behind the curtain and aiding in the demolition of any institution meant to hold DJT accountable for anything. Getting rid of a strong advocate intent on insuring fair and free elections just shows he has truly hit bottom. This champion of our voting rights will probably be replaced by some DJT flunky who believes the only fair elections are those won by Republicans. We are all in trouble.

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  • Chickie
    02/23/2018
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    What the heck GOP? Are you afraid of a fair election? Are you not in favor of an even playing field where every vote that isn’t funded by a lobbyist, special interest group or favored by another country? It’s time GOP to stand with the American voter!

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  • Dennis
    02/23/2018
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    Why are Republicans so reluctant to tackle the issue of protecting our voting process? It is inconceivable to me that after so many Russians are under indictment for interfering with previous elections the “Buck and a Half” Ryan would not reappoint a strong advocate with clear track record. I realize that he his now a huge tRump supporter and no longer has any ethical basis for his work. Sad.

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  • Joanne
    02/23/2018
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    At this point the GOP will do anything cheat, lie and steal to win votes. They are aware the most of the American people want them all out.

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  • JamisonH
    02/23/2018
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    The questions is, who does this benefit? I know for sure that the answer is not the American People. The GOP has abandoned Democracy.

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  • Chuck
    02/23/2018
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    Ryan will do anything and everything to impede voting so as to enhance republicans at the cost to free and fair elections

    Like (26)
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  • Hillary
    02/23/2018
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    Paul Ryan is despicable. He is such a chicken that he is afraid that he and his party of cronies can’t win if everyone votes, can’t win without a head start.

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  • Niki
    02/23/2018
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    The simple truth is Republicans cannot win if fair elections are held. Therefore they have no reason to act in order to secure our process. They prefer to harass the Supreme Court to let them continue gerrymandering. They don’t even care that the Russians interfered in 2016. Vote them out!

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  • Kathy
    02/23/2018
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    Could Republicans remaining in power be so important to Paul Ryan that he is willing to let foreign states interfere in our democracy? It appears that way to me,

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  • Countryfirst
    02/23/2018
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    Take care of our voting rights and freedoms..the republicans will bend to everything this dictatorship wants..Ryan is A COWARD!

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  • Marcus
    02/24/2018
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    Considering the meddling and controversy of this most recent election, I really do believe we need to be taking all the steps we can to make sure our election isn’t messed with again.

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  • Jim
    02/23/2018
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    It seems republicans just can’t stop fueling the fire. Every time you turn around their throwing another log on the conspiracy fire. Whatever happened to if it’s not broke don’t fix it. Voting security is a major issue and should be addressed ASAP!

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  • Christine
    02/23/2018
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    This is hair on fire urgent! ryan & djt seem to be ok with russia attacking our Democracy. ryan needs to be voted out of office, then djt needs to be impeached as they are both complicit with russia’s attacks on our elections.

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  • Dara
    02/23/2018
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    Free and fair elections. This is not about politics. Stand up for the country paul ryan. We are Americans first.

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  • Paraleeg
    02/24/2018
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    Anyone Ryan chooses I wouldn’t trust farther than I could throw them. This Congress is trying to make it possible, through any means, to be re-elected and keep their stooge in as president!

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  • Mark
    02/23/2018
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    Why am I NOT SURPRISED!! RYAN is a DOUCHEBAG

    Like (11)
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  • Johnelle
    02/24/2018
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    They’re not even trying to hide their corruption anymore.

    Like (10)
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