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
Tuesday, November 21
Another Worrisome EAC Nominee
After months of speculation, it was today confirmed that Senator Harry Reid has submitted the name of Denver City Councilwoman Rosemary Rodriguez to fill the Election Assistance Commission vacancy created by the departure of Ray Martinez. Her bio may be found here.

The EAC is charged, among other things, with overseeing the implementation of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). By statute, it consists of two Democrats and two Republicans. Rodriguez, a Democrat, is the second nomination to the EAC in the past two months. The other was Caroline Hunter who, as I described here, was nominated by President Bush to fill the Republican vacancy created by the departure of Chairman Paul DeGregorio.

At the time of Hunter's nomination, I expressed concern that the EAC -- which until recently has managed to make its decisions by bipartisan concensus -- would become increasingly politicized along party lines. This concern was exacerbated by the nomination of Hunter, given her past work as an RNC lawyer and limited election administration experience.

Rodriguez does have some election-related experience, as a former Denver clerk and recorder. Still, she's something of an unknown in the world of election administration -- or at least was until her name was circulated. Perhaps she will reveal herself to be a more impressive nominee than the information available so far leads me to believe. I hope the Senate will carefully scrutinize this nomination, as well as that of Ms. Hunter, during the confirmation process.

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