long lines at the polls

As promised during State of the Union, President Obama used an executive order to officially create the Presidential Commission on Election Administration. The commission will be headed by Bob Bauer, who served as a lawyer for the Obama campaign and Ben Ginsburg, who played a similar role for the Mitt Romney campaign.

The mission of the commission is to “identify best practices and otherwise make recommendations to promote the efficient administration of elections in order to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots without undue delay, and to improve the experience of voters facing other obstacles in casting their ballots, such as members of the military, overseas voters, voters with disabilities, and voters with limited English proficiency.”

Registration and voting has become a real partisan flashpoint in recent years. In multiple states Republican administrations have passed new voter ID laws, placed restrictions on how people can register to vote, and reduced early voting options. The net effect of these new laws makes it harder for young people, low income individuals, and certain minorities to exercise their right to vote.

The commission will be composed of no more than nine members and will have six months to produce a report.

Photo by boxercab under Creative Commons license