Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Daschle, Pelosi Announce Nominations to Election Assistance Commission

May 28, 2003

Washington, D.C. -- Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi today announced the nominations of Ray Martinez and Gracia Hillman to the Election Assistance Commission. Created by the Help America Vote Act of 2002, the Election Assistance Commission is charged with compiling information on and reviewing the procedures of federal elections.

"The American people’s faith in our electoral process is essential for the success and future of our democracy, and the Election Assistance Commission will be a vital element in our quest to maintain that faith," Daschle said. "I am pleased to nominate Ray Martinez to this important commission. Mr. Martinez’s vast experience in government and politics and his commitment to increasing voter participation will be assets as the committee seeks to uphold the integrity of federal elections."

Martinez is currently a lawyer in Austin, Texas. He served as Deputy Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs during the Clinton Administration. He has also served as Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Dallas and as co-chair of the Administration’s Interagency Task Force on the economic development of the Southwest border. He also runs the Every Texan Foundation, a non-partisan voter registration and education effort dedicated to increasing voter participation in Texas.

Pelosi nominated Gracia Hillman of Washington, D.C. "Gracia Hillman's wide range of experience in elections operations and her service both inside and outside government make her well suited for this role," Pelosi said. "She understands the weaknesses of our electoral system, and she is committed to remedying them. She is dedicated to ensuring that all qualified persons have the opportunity to vote and that their votes are counted."

Hillman has served as the Executive Director of the League of Women Voters, as the Executive Director of the National Coalition on Black Voter Participation, as a Senior Advisor for a Presidential campaign, and as the Senior Coordinator for International Women's Issues at the State Department. Hillman is currently the President and CEO of The Hillman Group, which provides professional consultant services to nonprofit and corporate clients.

The Election Assistance Commission serves as the national clearinghouse for information on state and local experiences with conducting federal elections and implementing the new law, ensures that voting systems function properly and that poll workers have access to appropriate training, and promotes the effective administration of federal elections. Under the terms of the Act, the commision's four members are appointed by the President. The Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader, and the House and Senate Minority Leaders are each required to submit one candidate recommendation to the President.


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