December 13, 2006

Two Views of the EAC's Report on Fraud

Following up on this post, I received the following email from Jeannie Layson, Director of Communications at the EAC:

    I write to point out incorrect information you posted on your website on December 11, 2006. You wrote: "Note what's missing compared to the earlier version leaked to the USA Today Newspaper." No one at the EAC leaked anything to USA Today. The reporter asked for a copy of the staff report about the fraud research that was presented at a public meeting in May to our Board of Advisors and the Standards Board, and the EAC provided it to him. This information was presented and discussed at a meeting that was open to the public, so we provided materials distributed at the meeting to anyone who requested it. The staff report about the fraud project was also distributed to the members of both advisory boards. Go here to view the Federal Register notice about the public meeting at which this project and many others were discussed.

    The statement you attribute to one of the consultants is absolutely correct. As stated by their contract, these consultants were hired so that the EAC could "...obtain consulting services from an individual who can provide advice drawn from broad professional and technical experience in the area of voter fraud and intimidation."

    As for your reference to what's "missing compared to the earlier version," the report contains the summaries of every interview conducted by the consultants as well as every book, article, report or case that was reviewed. It does not contain the synopsis of those interviews, which were written by the consultants. EAC provided the individual summaries so readers could reach their own conclusions about the substance of the interviews.

    EAC's interpretation of HAVA and its determination of what it will study and how it will use its resources to study it are matters of agency policy and decision. These are not, nor should they be, determinations or decisions made by consultants. The EAC has the ultimate responsibility for the reports it issues, and it is incumbent upon the agency to conduct due diligence to ensure reports, data or any other information is complete and accurate before it is adopted by the Commission.

For a different, and more negative, assessment of the EAC's fraud report, see Whitewashing the Facts: EAC Report Ignores Key Data, from the People for the American Way Foundation.

Posted by Rick Hasen at December 13, 2006 01:09 PM