U.S. panel recommends early voting to cut election day wait times

WASHINGTON Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:54am EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - To reduce long election day voting lines, a presidential panel recommended on Wednesday that states explore the possibility of expanding ways that Americans can vote early, an increasingly popular way to vote.

Complaints about long lines in some precincts across the country in the 2012 presidential election prompted President Barack Obama to form a bipartisan commission to look at ways to improve the voting experience.

The Presidential Commission on Election Administration, led by Obama's 2012 campaign lawyer, Bob Bauer, and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's top attorney, Ben Ginsburg, returned with its recommendations. Obama publicized them at an event with commission members in the White House Roosevelt Room.

The panel's key recommendation: States that have not already done so should expand alternative ways of voting, such as mail balloting and in-person early voting.

In addition, the panel said states should encourage the use of schools as polling places. Roughly one-third of Americans already go to schools to vote.

The commission said no American should have to wait more than 30 minutes in a voting line.

Obama said the commission heard from state officials who said voting problems could increase in future elections if not addressed soon. Unlike a lot of countries, he said, Americans vote in a complex system.

"We vote a lot, we have local jurisdictions that run these elections and it make things a little more complicated," Obama said.

Ginsburg told reporters after the event that the panel had looked at the possibility of increasing on-line voting, but decided against this on security grounds.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Stephen Powell)

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Comments (11)
flashrooster wrote:
In the meantime Republican governors and Republican state legislators are cutting back on early voting, looking for ways to make voting more difficult rather than making it easier. Why isn’t there more being said about this? I’m sure it has nothing to do with the corporate-owned news media. Funny how conservatives always accuse the news media of being liberal. If the news media was liberal, and, frankly, if they were doing their jobs, there would be more attention brought to the efforts on the part of Republicans to make voting more difficult and WHY they’re making it more difficult. Well now we have a bi-partisan commission that has concluded what most of us already knew, that democracy is promoted when voting is made easier. That’s the direction we need to go in, not cutting back on voting days.

Jan 22, 2014 12:30pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SoutherRican wrote:
Republicans, say “Let only those who agree with us vote”. Democrats, say “Votes early and vote often, U.S. citizen or not”. And both are the Party of Honor when it comes to designing congressional districts. The people of the United States are not STUPID, why would someone spend Millions trying to get a job that pays $174,000. Then by a miracle a few years later even the poorest congressional Rep. going in, is a millionaire.

Jan 22, 2014 1:01pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Meanwhile, watch as GOP-lead states do everything in their power to suppress democracy by make voting MORE difficult in the next few years. They know all too well that their policies are rejected by most Americans, and that larger voter turnout always favors democrats. They also know that we’ve reached a tipping point, and that they can no longer win elections without foul play. Their most viable path to victory now is not by getting people to vote FOR them – it is to keep as many people as possible from voting, thereby skewing the results in their favor.

Just watch: Between now and 2016, I guarantee that every state passing voter ID laws or attempting to limit early voting is a state where republicans are in control. You think that’s really a coincidence? I don’t think so.

And while we’re on the subject, go ahead and press them to give proof of this “rampant in-person voter fraud” that these voter ID laws are designed to prevent. They may be able to point to a couple cases over the last decade, but it largely just does not exist. The REAL problem they are trying to solve is people voting – for democrats.

Case in point: Tennessee just shot down an attempt to allow Student ID’s to be valid ID for voting. Oh, but gun permits are just fine though! Any which party are those two groups more likely to vote for? Coincidence? Again, I think not.


You know what they say: “If you can’t beat ‘em, cheat ‘em.”

Jan 22, 2014 1:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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