National Democrats are launching a program to expand voter access to polls, with a Thursday announcement aided by former president Bill Clinton. The Democratic National Committee says it will fund and staff a permanent effort in battleground states to work for early voting and online voter registration, and against voter identification laws, combating what it calls Republican efforts at voter suppression. “Today, there is no greater assault on our core values than the rampant efforts to restrict the right to vote,” Clinton says in a four-minute video that hits social media Thursday. “It’s not enough anymore just to be against these new voting restrictions. We need to get back on the road forward and work for more and easier voting.”
Democrats are to kick off the effort at the Democratic National Committee’s semiannual meeting in Washington, D.C. The first step will be to resurrect voter protection efforts and staff set up by the Obama campaign in the 12 battleground states of the 2012 election, said Pratt Wiley, an Obama campaign veteran who is heading the “voter expansion” effort for the DNC.
Presidential and even state-level campaigns, haunted by the Florida recount in the 2000 presidential election, typically deploy volunteer lawyers to polling places on Election Day to report any problems supporters encounter. Those “election protection” efforts dwindle in off-years but they should be “permanent,” Wiley said in an interview Wednesday. The new effort is an attempt to be more aggressive instead of playing defense through lawsuits challenging practices after votes are cast, he said.
Full Article: Democrats to expand ‘election protection’ effort.