Election panel recommends expansion of early voting
January 22nd, 2014
04:47 PM ET
10 months ago

Election panel recommends expansion of early voting

(CNN)– After long lines plagued voters in the 2012 elections, a panel dedicated to solving the wait times and streamlining voting processes is calling for an expansion of early voting in recommendations outlined in a report released Wednesday.

The 10-member Presidential Commission on Election Administration, announced by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address last year, suggests a number of fixes, including expanded online voter registration and improved access to voting for members of the military though state websites.

The six-month review also warned of an "impending crisis in voting technology" as voting machines purchased over a decade ago become obsolete as well as recommended sharing between states voter registration records to protect against election fraud.

Read the report

While noting the complexity of implementing consistent changes to voting practices in about 8,000 different jurisdictions throughout the country, the report pointed to "identifiable and solvable" issues with past procedures and determined that Americans should not have to wait more than 30 minutes to vote.

Leading the commission were two top election lawyers from each party, Obama counsel Robert Bauer and 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney counsel Benjamin Ginsburg. Ginsberg and Bauer said that the report reflects a nonpartisan effort to improve election processes based on the needs of voters.

"Our aim was to transcend partisan divisions and view election administration as public administration that must heed the expressed interests and expectations of voters," the co-chairs said in a joint statement.

"The focus that we and our eight colleagues on the Commission brought to the Report is recognition of the issues and trends in election administration judged from the standpoint of voter expectation and the ways those expectations can and should be met."

Obama met with the members of the commission at the White House on Wednesday, calling the recommendations "common sense" and pushing for Congress to help implement the fixes.

"No American should have to wait more than a half an hour to vote and they should know, they should be confident that their vote is being properly counted and is secure," the President said.

In 2012, voters in some states, including Florida and Pennsylvania, waited until nearly midnight to cast their ballots.

In addition expansion of mail-in ballots and in-person early voting, the 112-page report also suggests schools as appropriate voting locations and improved accessibility to polling places.


Filed under: President Obama • Voter Problems
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    More bad news for Republicans!

    January 22, 2014 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. S. B. Stein

    We should allow more times and places for our citizens to vote. Why would you restrict that vital function and responsibility of citizens unless you didn't want certain groups of citizens to vote. Voter ID laws sound good in ideal but function poorly in practice.

    January 22, 2014 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. Hillary Clinton - Incompetent Secretary of State, Accessory to Murder

    Corrupt Democrats like longer voting periods because they can get their criminal supporters to vote numerous times, in several cities and towns and even in several states.

    January 22, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    And CNN very very carefully avoids reporting their findings that the claims of widespread, pervasive voter fraud the GOP/Teatrolls are using to justify their voter ID, election timing, election process, registration drive, absentee ballot and all the other changes to the elections systems in their states that are designed and targeted at suppressing certain demographics' voting IS ALL IMAGINARY. Widespread, pervasive voter fraud is a MYTH. It is a giant fabrication the GOP/Teatrolls invented to justify enacting legislation designed to suppress votes and dilute voting power. Those findings are right there in that report and CNN didn't want you to know that.

    January 22, 2014 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Hillary basher – You lie! There is no proof that supports your stupidity.

    January 22, 2014 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "Corrupt Democrats like longer voting periods because they can get their criminal supporters to vote numerous times, in several cities and towns and even in several states."

    Yeah, except the findings of this panel (and oh so many others) is that in-person voter fraud is a ridiculous, unsupportable, baselessly fabricated myth AND that in the extraordinarily limited times and chance that voter fraud does occur, it is via absentee ballot, a voting method that the GOP/Teatrolls, even in states where they've been extremely busy enacting all sorts of legislation to suppress votes, protect at all costs because they see it as favorable to their candidates.

    January 22, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    BTW, CNN, predictable. Do have any idea how many people guessed that you and Faux would deliberately leave out the findings regarding voter fraud?

    As it is, you've also failed to report anything about the UMass study that used empirical data to show that the GOP/Teatrolls are, in fact, undeniably motivated by demographic trends in the states they control to enact the legislation they've been enacting in an effort to suppress votes from demographic groups they consider, shall we say, "inconvenient."

    January 22, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. Jonathon Powelly

    Every Republican governor will oppose it as it benefits the opposition.

    January 22, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. Malory Archer

    Hillary Clinton – Incompetent Secretary of State, Accessory to Murder
    Corrupt Democrats like longer voting periods because they can get their criminal supporters to vote numerous times, in several cities and towns and even in several states.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    And your proof is this is.......? LOL – who am I kidding – you have none because the ONLY proven instances of voter fraud have been committed by rethugs and involved mail-in ballots!

    January 22, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  10. tom l

    @Sniffit,
    I can't believe you honestly in your heart don't think there is voter fraud. I know you actually don't think there is but it's just naïve and crazy to not think there is. I just don't understand why you find it unreasonable for someone to need an ID to vote. It boggles my mind. Just do a quick search on the googlez. So there are 1.8 million dead registered voters. You don't see a problem with that? More than 2.75 million are registered to vote in 2 different states. No problem with that? 12 Indiana counties have more registered voters than people. I know, I know. I just saw it on the internets so it might not be true. But I am willing to bet that all of those numbers are accurate.

    While you paint every non-liberal with the same brush, I can tell you that my motivation for voter ID laws is simple. I want to make sure that people who are voting are who they say they are. I don't care about anything else. Not sure what is so difficult about that.

    January 22, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  11. Jim Hahn

    The Republicans will never go for it. Anything that increases voter rolls or access to voting is not right with them. They only want conservatives to have the right to vote. Anyone to the left of Rick Perry should be made to sit out.

    January 22, 2014 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. chrissy

    Amen @ Malory! And in todays society many people, who are lucky enough to find them, are working 2 jobs! That means they are working during voting time! So yes they do need to revisit the voting hours! Not to mention the population has increased tremendously for voter age citizens! People live longer now ya know!

    January 22, 2014 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  13. Thomas

    @Hillary Clinton – Incompetent Secretary of State, Accessory to Murder
    Corrupt Democrats like longer voting periods because they can get their criminal supporters to vote numerous times, in several cities and towns and even in several states.
    =======

    Okay , if you don't work for Jim DeMint or Fox News , how could you be so arrogant in your non factual beliefs ?

    January 22, 2014 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. Thomas

    Dose anybody remember Katherine Harris ? Dose anybody remember the Ralph Reed goon squad in the 2000 election Florida vote count ?

    Bush / Dick Cheney 2016
    Let's do it again ?

    January 22, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "So there are 1.8 million dead registered voters."

    Name the ones who showed up to vote.

    "More than 2.75 million are registered to vote in 2 different states."

    Suddenly you don't like doing things "across state lines"? Sharing voter registrations across state lines 2would solve that right quick. No need to inconvenience ANYONE.

    "I want to make sure that people who are voting are who they say they are."

    You swallowed the wrong pill. How sad.

    January 22, 2014 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  16. don in albuquerque

    The thing that always amazes me about the Guns Rights people is how they can stand back and scream, and shriek about their second amendment rights, while they watch they same group of people they think are on their side working diligently to destroy their voter rights. (I know, I know, run on sentence, but I don't care.) Guess what will happen to your right to own a gun when you no longer have the right to vote.

    January 22, 2014 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  17. Liz the First

    Remember this in November, the president wants people to have more time to vote and the repugs want to keep anyone they even suspect may vote against them FROM voting. who are the anti-American ones??? who don't really believe in democracy? the bogus 'voter fraud' argument they use to justify disenfranchising as many voters as they can is a virtually nonexistent problem. it's like going after a housefly with a Howitzer!

    January 22, 2014 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  18. Rick McDaniel

    That's nothing but a ploy for the Dem ocrats to continue committing election FRAUD!

    January 22, 2014 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  19. Gunderson

    OK,
    It all sounds so easy. Kinda reminds me of the Aesop's Fable of the Mice needing to put a Bell on the cat. Everybody agreed it needed to be done but who was brave enough to do it. In the voting world real worker's are needed to put up those extra voting places. But, you can always volunteer ! A perfect job for all Liberal's !!

    January 22, 2014 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    The Obama Years.......the era of lies, racism, fraud, and corruption, in the government of America.

    January 22, 2014 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  21. sammy750

    Why are corporations and conservatives against people voting. Why are they creating voter bills, like the ID bill, suppressing the voting rights of the people. There mission is to cut the number of voters in half in the next few years. They think they can win all elections if they take away the voters rights. ALEC is creating and has created voters rights bills, many passed in the Red states, taking away the rights of the voters. Big Corporations are supporting these bills, hiding behind ALEC, so the people won't know who the Corporations are. Now Conservatives are saying the new program outlined in Obama speech, takes away voting from white people. This is the radical voice that want to reduces votes in the states. Of course 8000 state district control voting rules. Not the Federal Government

    January 22, 2014 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  22. RonL

    Not only should there be early voting, I have never understood why isn't our election day hasn't been changed to Saturdays or have it as a paid holiday. Many other countries do this to make it easier for their citizens to vote. It is ridiculous and sad that many of our elections have less than 60% of us participating in the voting process. And TO ALL of you that THINK there is rampant phony voting, do you also still believe the world is flat?? EVERY study ever done on this subject has found there was less than one-half of 1% voter fraud found. That's right 0ne half of 1%!!!! The problems the Republicans have is only 30% of America considers themselves Republican. If 70% of America was to vote the Republicans would lose many offices they currently have. This FRIGHTENS them to their very core.

    January 22, 2014 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  23. simplyput

    Don't worry about the lack of voter fraud: there are lots of little ACORNS popping up all over the country. I want to know who's funding them.

    January 23, 2014 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  24. Marie MD

    The voter fraud charade of the teaklans has been proven time and again that it's not true. If anybody is trying to keep American citizens from voting, our one and only right regardless of color, race or creed or social standing, by making it harder they should look in the mirror.
    Fortunately we have woken up to realize that repugs will do anything to keep those "not like them" from voting.
    We voted early for the first time ever in 2012. It was a lot of fun and my husband, who was still a repug then, probably messed up their records because he didn't vote for the twit.

    January 23, 2014 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    "Corrupt Democrats like longer voting periods because they can get their criminal supporters to vote numerous times, in several cities and towns and even in several states."
    --------------------------------
    Read the report. The bipartisan panel concluded that in-person voter fraud is extremely rare, probably because of the risks involved, and found that the preferred method of choice to commit fraud was through absentee ballots.

    January 23, 2014 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
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