Election panel recommends expansion of early voting
January 22nd, 2014
04:47 PM ET
9 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. Rudy NYC

    True story. I received a post card, enclosed inside of a letter through the mail last summer, which read, "Our records show that [my name] is a registered voter at [my address]. If this is not the case, then please return the enclosed post card," I read it and laughed, for at least they were trying to verify the voting records.

    January 23, 2014 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    Malory Archer

    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!
    ------

    Rush said so. That's all they need to justify any stupidity they spout. Never mind the fact there is actual film evidence of GOPers actively recruiting their own sheep but negating anyone who has a mind of their own and doens't follow the herd

    January 23, 2014 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  3. Malory Archer

    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 !!

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

    Yeah, except as voter rolls expand, voting places are becoming fewer and further between – especially in certain areas – and that's on the local supervisors of elections.

    January 23, 2014 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  4. Fair is Fair

    Do other countries require an official ID to vote?

    January 23, 2014 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    To all of those complaining about how this is some kind of liberal plot, please remember that the main author of this report, Mr. Benjamin Ginsberg, is one of the lawyers who argued for Bush in 2000 as well as having worked for Romney in 2012. He has endorsed this report whole heartedly, especially the section stating that voter fraud was miniscule, and that it most ofter occurred in absentee ballots, not at the polls.

    January 23, 2014 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  6. tom l

    @Rudy,
    "True story. I received a post card, enclosed inside of a letter through the mail last summer, which read, "Our records show that [my name] is a registered voter at [my address]. If this is not the case, then please return the enclosed post card," I read it and laughed, for at least they were trying to verify the voting records."
    ====

    Perhaps unwittingly you have just made the case for voter ID cards.

    January 23, 2014 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  7. Malory Archer

    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.

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

    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 23, 2014 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  8. king

    these folks who want to kill democracy and allow only corporations to vote, is setting our country up for failure. this country is being taken over by corporations and the rich and powerful every day. they have blinded the people's eyes with none nonsensical blabber, which has no logicality about them. the all republican fox news host who still refuse to hire a single democrat host on their station, have convinced the people of this great nation to sell out their best interest to corporations, so they can keep sucking out the money out of our country and build china. they are being fooled that depressing the votes by asking old folks who cannot, or doesn't know the know how to get a hold of their birth certificate to get a drivers license just to vote, and at the same time frustrating them from standing in long lines, hoping they will leave and dont bother voting their way. when will America see the big conspiracy taking place by the repubs, of corporations rules, and the average american can wait to get trickled on, if trickle come their way, and the thing makes it so bad, is that they are using these same folks to accomplished their new world order.

    January 23, 2014 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    "Perhaps unwittingly you have just made the case for voter ID cards."
    -----------------------------------
    Most states issue people "voter ID cards" already when the register to vote. The problem are the new laws that negate those cards and require that people have a Photo ID.

    New York has a very good system that makes it hard to commit in-person voter fraud. Polling places have binders, or journals, filled with the name and signature of every registered voter for that polling location. Before you vote, they will locate your name in the book and sign it. The poll official compares your signature to the one on record, which just so happens to be right next to where you just signed your name. They cover the original, of course, as you sign in. Makes it really hard for dead people to vote, too.

    January 23, 2014 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  10. John, PA

    Early voting = voter fraud. Of course the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, announced by President Barack Obama would want more chances for voter fraud.

    January 23, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
1 2