New EAC Chair Matt Masterson on Priorities in 2017 and Beyond

[Image via EAC]

Last week, Matt Masterson became the new Chair of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. On Friday, Chairman Masterson posted a blog entry at the EAC website (with a similar but shorter op-ed in the Hill) that lays out the priorities for the EAC in 2017 and beyond:

Today I was elected Chairman of the Election Assistance Commission.  This is an honor and responsibility I do not take lightly.  In their respective terms as Chair, both Commissioners McCormick and Hicks propelled the EAC towards fulfilling our mission set forth by HAVA, to better serve election officials and American voters.  I hope to build on the momentum they created and push the EAC even further.

In my year as Chairman, much of the EAC’s work will be influenced by two key things.  First, the lessons learned and feedback from election officials as a result of the 2016 Presidential Election.  The EAC’s #BeReady16 campaign received a great deal of praise from election officials from around the country and I want to build off that success with a new effort, #GamePlan17.  The focus of #GamePlan17 will be to provide election officials with tangible planning strategies and information for the 2018 mid-term election and then to help turn those planning strategies into concrete actions to be taken heading  into 2018. The goal being to help election officials protect their most valuable resource… time.

Second, the information and data contained in 2016 EAVS survey released in June.  The EAVS data represents the most comprehensive set of data regarding election administration.  I want to take that information and make it real to election officials.  This means working with election officials to understand what the data is telling us and then using it to create tangible resources to support election officials. This could mean everything from best practices based on the data to jurisdiction specific data packets to help election officials educate and inform legislators, county commissioners and voters regarding the work they do and the resources they need.

Already in 2017, three distinct areas have emerged as focus areas for the EAC to provide support on:

As I take over as Chairman of the EAC, I have one simple request for the election community and election officials specifically… let us serve you.  Tell us what you need, and what concerns you the most as you run elections this year and plan for next year. Share any thoughts, complaints or ideas with us as at clearinghouse@eac.gov and/or mmasterson@eac.gov.

The election community is very fortunate to have someone with Matt’s skills and experience at the EAC – and I have no doubt he will continue the excellent record of leadership established by his EAC colleagues and predecessors as Chair. This piece suggests that despite what you may hear on Capitol Hill, the EAC plans to stay on the job (and even up its game) providing the assistance to state and local election officials envisioned by the Help America Vote Act.

The to-do list is long (and will include some challenging policy issues – more on that here soon), but I have no doubt Chairman Masterson and his colleagues are up to the task. Stay tuned!

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