Upset by the long lines encountered by thousands of voters in November, President Obama is creating a bipartisan panel to look into the problem and propose solutions. “When any Americans – no matter where they live or what their party – are denied that right simply because they can’t wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals,” Obama planned to say in his State of the Union address. “We can fix this, and we will. The American people demand it. And so does our democracy.” Obama’s response represents less than some voting rights groups had sought. But they noted it could give his eventual recommendations bipartisan cover rather than cast them as proposals designed to help Democrats at the polls.
The Presidential Commission on Election Administration will be co-chaired by two partisan veterans of the election wars: Democratic attorney Robert Bauer, a former White House counsel who worked on Obama’s presidential campaign, and Republican lawyer Ben Ginsberg, a longtime Republican National Committee counsel who played the same role for former governor Mitt Romney.
The White House cited lines of up to seven hours, delays in receiving absentee ballots, inaccurate voter registration lists and unreliable or too few machines to justify the need for a commission. “That is not how our democracy is supposed to work,” a fact sheet distributed by Obama’s aides says.
The panel will be charged with recommending changes to state and local election officials, who have the ultimate authority to run elections.
Full Article: Obama proposes commission to address long lines at polls.