Ellen Kaplan delivered a blunt message Wednesday to members of a presidential blue-ribbon panel on election reform. The 2012 vote in Philadelphia was a “national embarrassment” spoiled by massive confusion, partisanship, and mismanagement, said Kaplan, policy director of the watchdog group Committee of Seventy. She pointed to numbers such as the 26,986 provisional ballots cast, more than 12,000 of them by registered voters who should have been allowed to use voting machines, and almost 100 Republican poll inspectors who “were not permitted to sit” by their Democratic counterparts and had to get court orders. “Perhaps,” she added, in what could be a touch of overstatement, “the worst-run election in the city’s history.”
Kaplan was one in a parade of election experts, academics, and activists who addressed the Presidential Commission on Election Administration during a day-long hearing at the Convention Center.
The bipartisan panel, created by President Obama in March, is charged with recommending federal reforms to confront voting issues that resulted in long lines and other hurdles at polls across the country.
Having already hosted meetings in Washington, D.C., Colorado, and Florida, the panel focused on training of poll workers, problems with voting machines, voter data management, overseas and military voting concerns, and ballot clarity – all of which, critics say, disproportionately affected poor and minority voters in the last election.
After a final hearing in Ohio, the panel is to make its recommendations by December.
Full Article: Federal panel urged to reform election rules.