ACLU Comment on Presidential Election Commission Report

January 22, 2014 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – A report was released today entitled “The American Voting Experience: Report and Recommendations of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration.” The bipartisan Commission was announced by President Obama during last year’s State of the Union Address. Its mission was to identify non-partisan ways to shorten lines at polling places, promote the efficient conduct of elections, and provide better access to the polls for all voters.

Below is comment on the recommendations from Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office:

“Regardless of party, Americans agree that long lines on Election Day are unnecessary, are a hindrance to exercising the fundamental right to vote, and must be addressed. We appreciate the President’s initiative in forming this bipartisan commission and welcome their thoughtful and specific recommendations to fix the problem of long lines and other voter access issues. Overall, these are a series of recommendations that make sense, but we have to analyze them comprehensively both for their civil rights and privacy implications. We welcome efforts to improve election administration in this country, which is woefully out of date in far too many jurisdictions.”

The release of these recommendations comes on the heels of last week’s congressional introduction of the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014, a bill in response to last year’s Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County v. Holder. Note that the bill and the recommendations around election administration address separate issues. While addressing election administration is critical, it is imperative for Congress to act this year to protect voters from discrimination in a common sense, bipartisan way through passage of the Voting Rights Amendments Act.

The report is available here:

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