The Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA) released its report and recommendations on January 22nd. This commission grew out President Obama's 2012 election-night observation that when it comes to people waiting in lines for hours to vote, "We have to fix that."
It's worth noting that the report is unanimous; unlike many other bipartisan commissions, there was no "minority" report submitted, rather all commission members, Republican and Democratic alike, were in unison in their recommendations, which include:
- Modernization of the registration process through continued expansion of online voter registration and expanded state collaboration in improving the accuracy of voter lists;
- Measures to improve access to the polls through multiple opportunities to vote before the traditional Election Day, including voting by mail, and the selection of suitable, well-equipped polling place facilities, such as schools;
- State-of-the-art techniques to assure efficient management of polling places, including tools the Commission is publicizing and recommending for the efficient allocation of polling place resources; and
- Reforms of the standard-setting and certification process for new voting technology to address soon-to-be antiquated voting machines and to encourage innovation and the adoption of widely available off-the-shelf technologies.
Another key recommendation is that no U.S. voter should have to wait more than 30 minutes to vote and that this goal can be achieve through better planning and efficient allocation of resources. This is the first time a bar has been set for polling place efficiency and performance, which in and of itself is a valuable contribution.
For comments from an election official's perspective, see Dean Logan's , Registrar-Recorder in Los Angeles County, article in the California Forward Newsletter: http://www.cafwd.org/reporting/entry/an-election-officials-perspective-the-line-starts-here