National: Chris Coons Plotting Legislative Response If Voting Rights Act Is Gutted | Huffington Post

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) is hoping the Supreme Court doesn’t strike down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, but he’ll be prepared if they do. Coons told Attorney General Eric Holder during a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on Wednesday that he’d like to work with the Justice Department “should there be a change in the status of the Voting Rights Act.” The Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week on whether to strike down Section 5 of the 1965 law, which forces certain jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination to get the federal government’s permission to make changes to their voting laws and procedures.

Editorials: Here’s a thought. Why don’t we make voting easy? | The Washington Post

Of course: Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is reacting to Democratic electoral victories by trying to make it harder for people to vote. He wants to end same-day voter registration. Same-day voter registration is, in fact, a bad policy — because registration should be automatic. But in the current situation it’s the least-bad of bad policies. That’s because everything about voter registration in this country is awful. We should have universal, automatic voter registration. Period. End of story. Just as most democracies do.

National: Chris Coons Offers Election Reform Bill To Fix Problems At Polls | Huffington Post

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) is heeding President Barack Obama’s election night call to “fix” the problems voters faced at the polls this year, by introducing legislation that would reward states for election reform. Coons’ bill, titled the Louis L. Redding Fair, Accurate, Secure and Timely (FAST) Voting Act of 2012, is modeled on Obama’s Race to the Top program for education. States that make voting faster and more accessible would be rewarded with federal grants. Voters in several states this year — most notably, Florida and Ohio — stood in extraordinarily long lines at the polls, with some people waiting nine hours. Citizens also dealt with shorter early-voting periods, confusion over whether they needed to present photo ID and reports of uncounted ballots.

National: Democrats Propose Speeding Up Voting | Roll Call

Efforts to improve election administration and address the long lines that greeted voters on Election Day shifted to Capitol Hill on Thursday as House and Senate lawmakers unveiled related bills. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., introduced legislation that would establish a competitive-grant program within the Justice Department to provide states with incentives to improve their voting processes. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., quickly pledged to co-sponsor the bill, citing the “embarrassment” that long lines caused Virginia last week. “In Prince William County, folks waited for up to three hours. In Chesapeake, Va., folks waited up to four hours. It was remarkable that it was five days after the fact before we even knew the results in Florida,” Warner said on the Senate floor.