Dan Tokaji's Blog
Professor Dan Tokaji
Election reform, the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and related topics -- with special attention to the voting rights of people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and people with disabilities

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Equal Vote
Monday, April 10
Breaking News: Commissioner Martinez Resigns from EAC
Commissioner Ray Martinez III of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission has tendered his resignation, effective June 30, 2006. The letter of resignation to President Bush may be found here. Commissioner Martinez attributes his resignation to personal reasons, specifically a desire to be nearer to his family in Texas following the recent passing of his mother.

My take: Commissioner Martinez has served with great distinction as a member of the EAC, and he will be greatly missed. He's been a major leader in carving out a vital role for the EAC in American election administration. That includes distributing federal funds to the states, promulgating voluntary voting system guidelines, and commissioning desperately needed research on such topics as registration, provisional voting, and election fraud. (Disclosure: the Moritz College of Law is currently engaged in research regarding provisional voting and ID requirements with the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers, under contract with the EAC.)

What's been particularly impressive about Commissioner Martinez is his strenuous effort to prevent the bipartisan commission from being divided along party lines. The EAC has so far been incredibly successful in making decisions by consensus. All of its decisions last year, for example, were by unanimous vote. Such consensus has been instrumental in helping to establish the EAC as a respected agency dedicated to the mission of making our election system work better for all voters. I very much hope that the EAC will continue to follow the course that Commissioner Martinez and his colleagues have to this point charted.

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Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University