H.R. 1937 (112th): EAC Improvements Act of 2011

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of May 23, 2011 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1937

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 23, 2011

(for himself, Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, and Ms. Zoe Lofgren of California) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on House Administration

A BILL

To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to improve the operations of the Election Assistance Commission, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the EAC Improvements Act of 2011.

2.

Reauthorization of Commission

(a)

Reauthorization

Section 210 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15330) is amended by striking for each of the fiscal years 2003 through 2005 and inserting for each of the fiscal years 2012 through 2016.

(b)

Treatment of commission in same manner as federal election commission for purposes of paperwork reduction act

Section 3502(1) of title 44, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subparagraphs (B), (C), and (D) as subparagraphs (C), (D), and (E); and

(2)

by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following new subparagraph:

(B)

the Election Assistance Commission;

.

3.

Requiring states to participate in post-general election surveys

(a)

Requirement

Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15481 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 303 the following new section:

303A.

Requiring participation in post-general election surveys

(a)

Requirement

Each State shall furnish to the Commission such information as the Commission may request for purposes of conducting any post-election survey of the States with respect to the administration of a regularly scheduled general election for Federal office.

(b)

Effective date

This section shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2012 and any succeeding election.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment relating to enforcement

Section 401 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 15511) is amended by striking and 303 and inserting 303, and 303A.

(c)

Clerical amendment

The table of contents of such Act is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 303 the following new item:

Sec. 303A. Requiring participation in post-general election surveys.

.

4.

Determining extent to which disabled individuals have access to polling places

(a)

Ongoing surveys of compliance with ADA

In accordance with section 241 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15381), not later than 180 days after the date of the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2012 and each succeeding regularly scheduled general election for Federal office, the Election Assistance Commission, shall, with the assistance of the Comptroller General, conduct and publish a survey of each polling place used for the election to determine the percentage of such polling places that were in compliance with the standards applicable to such locations under the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990.

(b)

Evaluation of need To continue surveys

At the time the Election Assistance Commission publishes the results of the survey conducted under subsection (a) with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2020, the Commission shall evaluate and make a recommendation to Congress regarding whether the percentage of polling places in compliance with the standards applicable to such locations under the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 has increased to such an extent that there is no longer a need to conduct surveys under subsection (a) with respect to subsequent elections.

5.

Establishment of procedures and fee schedules for conducting testing of voting equipment hardware and software; payment of user fees for compensation of accredited laboratories

(a)

In General

Section 231(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15371(b)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:

(3)

Procedures for conducting testing; payment of user fees for compensation of accredited laboratories

(A)

Establishment of escrow account

The Commission shall establish an escrow account (to be known as the Testing Escrow Account) that will serve as the exclusive source for making payments to accredited laboratories for the costs of the testing carried out in connection with the certification, decertification, and recertification of voting system hardware and software.

(B)

Schedule of fees

In consultation with the accredited laboratories, the Commission shall establish and regularly update a schedule of fees for the testing carried out in connection with the certification, decertification, and recertification of voting system hardware and software, based on the reasonable costs expected to be incurred by the accredited laboratories in carrying out the testing for various types of hardware and software.

(C)

Requests and payments by manufacturers

A manufacturer of voting system hardware and software may not have the hardware or software tested by an accredited laboratory under this section unless—

(i)

the manufacturer submits a detailed request for the testing to the Commission;

(ii)

the request provides sufficient information for the Commission to determine the applicable fee for the testing under the schedule established and in effect under subparagraph (B);

(iii)

the Commission approves the request; and

(iv)

the manufacturer pays to the Commission, for deposit into the Testing Escrow Account established under subparagraph (A), the applicable fee for the testing.

(D)

Selection of laboratory

Upon approving a request for testing and receiving the payment from a manufacturer required under subparagraph (C), the Commission shall select at random (to the greatest extent practicable), from all laboratories which are accredited under this section to carry out the specific testing requested by the manufacturer, an accredited laboratory to carry out the testing.

(E)

Payments to laboratories

Upon determining that a laboratory selected to carry out testing pursuant to subparagraph (D) has completed the testing in accordance with the approved request, the Commission shall make a payment to the laboratory from the Testing Escrow Account established under subparagraph (A) in an amount equal to the applicable fee paid by the manufacturer under subparagraph (C)(iv).

(4)

Dissemination of additional information on accredited laboratories

(A)

List of accredited laboratories

The Commission shall maintain and publish an updated list of all accredited laboratories under this section.

(B)

Information on status of laboratories

In addition to updating the list maintained and published under subparagraph (A), the Commission shall promptly notify Congress, the chief State election official of each State, and the public whenever—

(i)

the Commission revokes, terminates, or suspends the accreditation of a laboratory under this section;

(ii)

the Commission restores the accreditation of a laboratory under this section which has been revoked, terminated, or suspended; or

(iii)

the Commission has credible evidence of a significant security failure at an accredited laboratory.

(C)

Information on testing

Upon completion of the testing of a voting system under this section, the Commission shall promptly disseminate to the public the identification of the laboratory which carried out the testing.

.

(b)

Conforming Amendments

Section 231 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 15371) is further amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)(1), by striking testing, certification, and all that follows and inserting the following: testing of voting system hardware and software by accredited laboratories in connection with the certification, decertification, and recertification of the hardware and software for purposes of this Act.;

(2)

in subsection (a)(2), by striking testing, certification, and all that follows and inserting the following: testing of its voting system hardware and software by the laboratories accredited by the Commission under this section in connection with certifying, decertifying, and recertifying the hardware and software.;

(3)

in subsection (b)(1), by striking testing, certification, decertification, and recertification and inserting testing; and

(4)

in subsection (d), by striking testing, certification, decertification, and recertification each place it appears and inserting testing.

(c)

Deadline for Establishment of Escrow Account and Schedule of Fees

The Election Assistance Commission shall establish the Testing Escrow Account and schedule of fees described in section 231(b)(3) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (as added by subsection (a)) not later than January 1, 2012.

6.

Studies of methods to reduce costs of administering elections

(a)

Analysis of factors affecting costs of administering elections

The Election Assistance Commission shall conduct a study analyzing various factors that affect the costs to States and units of local government of administering elections for Federal office, including the following specific factors:

(1)

The durability of the equipment used in voting systems.

(2)

The extent to which States and units of local government must replace existing systems because such systems are not capable of using enhanced software or are not capable of being upgraded in a cost-effective manner.

(3)

The lack of competition among vendors and manufacturers of the equipment used in voting systems because of consolidation in the voting system industry.

(b)

Recommendations for steps To reduce costs

The Commission shall include in the study conducted under this section such recommendations as the Commission shall consider appropriate to reduce the costs incurred by States and units of local government in administering elections for Federal office, including recommendations for legislative action by Congress or the States.

(c)

Deadline

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commission shall submit the study conducted under this section to Congress.

7.

Study of methods for increasing efficiency and cost-effectiveness of election assistance commission

(a)

Study

The Comptroller General shall conduct a study of the administrative operations of the Election Assistance Commission, and shall include in the study an analysis of various methods for increasing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of such operations.

(b)

Deadline; report

Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to Congress a report on the study conducted under subsection (a), and shall include in the report such recommendations as the Comptroller General considers appropriate.

(c)

Participation of Election Assistance Commission

The Election Assistance Commission shall provide the Comptroller General with such assistance as the Comptroller General may require to carry out this section.