Proposed voting reforms from the Presidential Commission on Election Administration

“The Commission has concluded that, as a general rule, no voter should have to wait more than half an hour in order to have an opportunity to vote.”

The Presidential Commission on Election Administration released its report in January. It is the culmination of research and interviews about issues surrounding the efficiency and fairness of elections across the country and offers solutions and best practices that would correct these problems. If you don’t have the time or patience to read the report in its entirety, I encourage you to at least read the Summary of Recommendations after the Table of Contents.

The Commission Co-Chairs are a Democrat and a Republican: Robert F. Bauer (White House Counsel to President Obama 2009 – 2011, is General Counsel for the DNC and was General Counsel for Obama for America 2008, 2012) and Benjamin L. Ginsberg (General Counsel for Mitt Romney for President, involved in the Florida 2000 Gore-Bush election recount, and National Counsel for the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign).

Here are some of the recommendations:

  • States should adopt online voter registration
  • Interstate exchanges of voter registration information should be expanded
  • States should seamlessly integrate voter data acquired by the Department of Motor Vehicles with their statewide voter registration lists
  • Improved management of polling places
  • Jurisdictions should develop models and tools to assist them in effectively allocating resources across polling places
  • States should institute poll worker training standards
  • Election authorities should establish advisory groups for voters with disabilities and for those with limited English proficiency
  • Assure accessible polling places
  • Expand opportunities to vote before Election Day
  • States should provide ballots and registration materials to military and overseas voters via their websites
  • Audits of voting equipment must be conducted after each election

There are many additional worthwhile recommendations in the report. These are common sense reforms that all Americans, irrespective of political ideology, should be able to support.