(CNN) – Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, on Thursday proposed an overhaul of America's presidential election laws, saying the current dispute over delegates in Florida and Michigan has exposed a flawed nominating system in need of reform.
In a speech on the floor of the Florida State Senate Thursday morning, Nelson said he will formally introduce legislation that will attempt to fix many of the problems exposed by this cycle's round of presidential primaries, adding the "time for reform is now.”
"This country cannot afford to wait that long, before we fix the flaws we still see in our election system," Nelson said. "The blessings of liberty cannot wait."
Specifically, Nelson said he will propose six rotating interregional primaries that "will give large and small states a fair say in the nomination process." The regional primaries would be conducted on dates ranging from March to June, Nelson also said, taking the place of the current early-voting states Iowa and New Hampshire - states which critics have long argued are not representative of the American electorate. The dates would initially be set by a lottery system for the 2012 election and would rotate positions in successive elections.
Nelson called for early voting in every state and the elimination of voting machines that do not produce a paper trail. The Florida Democrat also said all citizens should be allowed to vote absentee if they so choose, and is pushing for a federal grant incentive program to help develop voting by mail and via the Internet.
Nelson will also formally seek award the presidency based on the popular vote result, instead of via the Electoral College – a reform that will require a stand-alone bill since it would require an amendment to he Constitution.
"The goal is simple: one person, one vote," Nelson said in his speech Thursday.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney