Presidential Panel Sets Goal for Future Elections: Wait 30 Minutes or Less to Vote

Jan 22, 2014 1:57pm

The election commission appointed by President Obama revealed new recommendations Wednesday to reform the voting process and shorten lines at polling locations, specifically concluding that every American voter should not have to wait longer than 30 minutes to vote.

The Presidential Election Commission Administration’s recommendations include an expansion of online voter registration; updating and coordinating voter registration lists between states to increase accuracy; expansion of early voting by mail ballots or in person; improving the ability of military and voters overseas to access ballots; and using schools as polling places. The commission also called for an examination and update of aging equipment used by voters to cast their ballots.

The president praised the commission’s findings, saying they have set “an important goal which is that no American should have to wait more than half an hour to vote, and they should know, they should be confident that their vote is being properly counted and is secure.”

“The recommendations that are contained in this commission report are eminently doable,” the president said before a meeting with the panel.

President Obama created the independent bipartisan panel last year after many voters experienced long lines at polling locations during the 2012 election.  The commission was co-chaired by an election law odd couple of sorts — Bob Bauer, counsel for Obama’s campaign, and Ben Ginsberg, the top lawyer for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

But could voting online come in the future? Ginsberg said the commission ruled out introducing an online voting system at this time.

“Security concerns for now are just too great,” Ginsberg said.

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