A voting report released Wednesday by a bipartisan presidential panel offers a frank rebuke to Republicans working to make voting harder—especially through cuts to early voting. And the GOP is already working to limit the report’s impact. “The administration of elections is inherently a state function so I do not believe that new one-size-fits-all Washington mandates would be of assistance.” Rep. Candice Miller, a former Michigan secretary of state and the House GOP’s point person on voting issues, said in a statement. The Republican National Lawyers Association, a group of GOP election lawyers that has played a key role in advancing voting restrictions, echoed Miller’s view. The report has mostly been applauded by voting rights groups and those looking to expand access to the ballot. “The commission’s recommendations are a significant step forward,” said Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center, in a statement.
President Obama appointed the Presidential Commission on Election Assistance last year to help fix long lines at the polls, after some voters in Florida and Virginia waited up to eight hours to cast a ballot in 2012. It was chaired by the top lawyers for Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s campaigns, Bob Bauer and Ben Ginsberg, respectively.
The panel’s report didn’t touch on what’s currently the most controversial voting issue, voter ID, saying the topic was outside its mandate. But one of its key recommendations dealt with another hot-button issue: early voting. “States should expand opportunities to vote before Election Day,” the report advises, in order to reduce the chances of long lines at the polls.
Full Article: GOP pushes back on Obama voting report | MSNBC.