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Bring United States’ election system into the 21st century



Published: Tue, January 29, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

The 2012 presidential election, like those in 2008 and 2004, was plagued with problems at the polls and with barriers erected by many Republican-governed states, including Ohio, to undermine early voting.

As President Obama noted in his inaugural address, “...our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.”

Obama first talked about the shortcomings in the election process when he secured a second term on Nov. 6. In his victory speech he made it clear that the time had come to “fix” the broken system that has the effect of dissuading legitimate voters from going to the polls.

While Election Day in Ohio was relatively trouble-free, the weeks leading up to the big event were steeped in controversy because the Republican controlled state government took action to curb early voting. As a result, voters in the larger counties had to stand in line for hours to cast their ballots. There were reports of people simply walking away in frustration.

Not an isolated case

This effort to restrict voting was repeated in state after state controlled by the Republicans.

That’s why President Obama has made reforming the election system a priority for his second term.

The Brennen Center for Justice, spurred by Obama’s call, last week released a proposal to modernize voter registration and bring the nation’s election system into the 21st century.

The Voter Registration Modernization is the centerpiece of the Voter Empowerment Act introduced by several Democratic members of the U.S. House, including John Lewis, Steny Hoyer, James Clyburn, John Conyers and Robert Brady. In the Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand is leading the charge.

“The ramshackle voter registration system is a prime cause of long lines and Election Day chaos,” said Michael Waldman, president of the Brennen Center. “We have a chance to modernize our elections so every eligible citizen is on the rolls, with lower costs and greater election security.”

Voter Registration Modernization would establish voluntary, automated registration of all consenting citizens when they interact with a wide range of government agencies; make registration portable, keeping voters on the rolls even when they move; provide fail-safe procedures to ensure that eligible voters whose information is not on the rolls or not up to date can correct the information online or at the polls; offer states federal funding to make necessary technological upgrades.

Multiple benefits

The Brennen Center believes the adoption of the new registration system will boost election integrity, provide safeguards against hacking and curb the potential for fraud.

An estimated 50 million eligible voters could be brought into the political process and the new system would cost less than the current paper-based system.

But, given Republicans’ record of making voting difficult especially in heavily Democratic urban areas, the effort to implement urgently needed changes in the system will face stiff opposition in the Republican-controlled House.

The GOP can be expected to fight any attempt to increase the voter rolls and participation.

President Obama, the Democratic majority in the Senate and all the grass-roots organizations that have long advocated changes must join forces in overcoming Republican resistance.


Comments

1chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

"Wair for AN hour" to vote

OMG

Weren't there 4 weeks to vote prior to elecion day?

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2TB(1167 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

An hour is a long time to wait for something that is supposed to be a sacred right. When's the last time you stood in line for an hour dor something?

Chuck, what's the problem with making it easier and more efficient to vote?

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3youngspartanrepublican(90 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

How many more voting opportunities do they need? Dave
Betras already drives the van around the ghetto rounding up people to go vote for Barry...they have a month to vote early. We should get rid of early voting.

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4TB(1167 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

So the lines could be longer? The lines are much longer in the cities than in the burbs and rural areas. Your statement ignores the issue.

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5borylie(769 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

National ID card. If we really want to clean up voting this should be another way of reducing fraud and making the voting experience so much better for the masses. Plus it could also be used when making any gun purchase.

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6TB(1167 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

Was fraud an issue in any recent election? States already issue such cards

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7borylie(769 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

TB, How could it be a 'National" ID card if "states" issue them?
Does it (fraud) have to become an issue before you address the problem?

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8TB(1167 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Identification cards. Thought you wanted less government. Make up your mind.
If fraud isn't an issue, where's the problem?
Stop trolling me too or I'll continue to make you look foolish.

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9borylie(769 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

TB, You're the one looking foolish and I feel really sorry for you that you can't recognize how foolish you are. You answered my post, so how I'm I trolling you? My post clearly said national ID cards, you answered states do it. You came across as very foolish on that answer of yours. Then you can't comprehend about stopping a potential problem of fraud, which does exist. If the government is already in involved in elections and President Obama wants to do more, then I'm not asking for more government, plus it would help with gun purchases. A possible solution, more than what you can offer. But seriously, your not very bright and therefore not a good debater.

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10AnotherAverageCitizen(1174 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Voting is done by the states. States have ID cards. Thus there is no reason for the Federal Govt to have ID cards for everycitizen.

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11borylie(769 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

AAC, If you people weren't so intent on trying to prove everything the left pushes is good, you'll would realize there are other opinions and solutions. Voting is done by states. Then why is President Obama (head federal leader) involved in election reform? States have ID cards. I live in Ohio, I don't have an ID card. Do you? If you want voting in every state to be cohesive and fair, then enact federal guidelines. A national ID card would be the start. If you want gun laws to be cohesive and fair, then enact federal guidelines. A national ID card would be the start. If not all you need is a couple of rogue states to opt out and elections results could be different and people could go to those opt out states to buy guns. Try sitting on the fence on some of these issues and see what's best for the country, not just your party.

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12TB(1167 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Thanks aac. It's a good effort, however boryLIE is a conspiracy theorist. Couple that with his latent fear of African-Americans, and it's a dangerous combination. The federal government, which bL claims is too large and inept, now should be issuing ID cards instead of the states that run the actual elections to prevent nearly non-existent voter ID fraud that does exist in bL's head.
Note that facts do not slow bL down in pursuit of what reality is.

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13borylie(769 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

TB and AAC, I've taken you guys to school so much, I should be getting paid as a bus driver. TB, talk about latent fears, President Obama, liberals and you are so afraid of Fox News. In a lot of your posts you refer to Fox News and so does President Obama, when he's giving speeches. One reason: FEAR. They're afraid your going to hear something they don't want you to hear. They can't afford for people like you to know the facts. You in turn think of Fox as they hope you do. Why else are they always trying to demonize conservative views? And don't say it's because they lie. If that was true it would be all over the news. What is in the news is that MSNBC for the third time recently, they've edited tape to go along with their story lines. Just reading your #13 post. Nearly non-existent voter fraud,that exists in my head. Isn't that an oxymoron? It either exists or it doesn't. I should of got you on the bus long ago, you have missed too many lessons.

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14TB(1167 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

I don't refer to foxnews unless you ask me to. And my "oxymoron" was intentional. Way to be quick on the uptake.

Braggadoccio and bravado without any facts once again. Your entire post has none. Well done!

You sure can be paid bus driver salary. I'll keep that superintendent spot. Maybe one of these days you cab work your way up to lunch lady.

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15AnotherAverageCitizen(1174 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Bo, when you grow up you will be able to get a license and drive. Then you will have a state issued License/ID card. I am asked often for an ID at stores and hand them my license.

Nothing in my post has anything to do with the left. I do not look out for a party. Maybe that is just what you read into my posts.

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16borylie(769 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

TB, You're starting to bore me again by pointing out your picayune arguments to be worthless. The oxymoron was intentional. You can kid yourself there TB, but no one else would buy it. On another story we were "debating" you brought up Fox News numerous times. I never once mentioned Fox News. How can you say I ask you to talk about Fox News. You're making up crap because you have no answer. If you're not going to take these debates seriously, do us a favor and go build a school made of Legos and be the superintendent.

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17borylie(769 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

AAC, What if I grow up and I don't want to drive, but I want to vote twice and I want to buy a gun at a gun show? Did you read my #12 post in it's entirety? Do you understand federal law (covers the USA) vs state law (covers only that state)? When you go to the store and they ask you for your driver's license, what do you do if you don't drive, don't have a license?

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18borylie(769 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

AAC, Nothing in your post says left,granted. Went back into your comment history and your not loony left, but you definitely lean left. A lot of your posts though are mostly fair. I guess when you try and help out someone like TB you are perceived as a far left fanatic and not being on the fence. I myself am a conservative and I believe republicans best represent my views. But let me tell you, if President Obama made my life better, and our country stronger, I could care less if he was president forever. I just know what conservatism is and I wonder if liberals know what liberalism is. Thanks.

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19AnotherAverageCitizen(1174 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Bo,

You can go to the license branch and get a state issued photo ID card. Looks similiar to a drivers license, but does not give you the priviledge of driving.

I jut don't see the need for the Fed Govt to also give an ID card and spend the money. Most liberals want smaller Govt. For the Fed to try and isuue Fed ID card would cost one heck of a lot of cash we don't have.

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20borylie(769 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

AAC, That's all well and fine, but would another state with different laws accept my Ohio ID card and could I go to a gun show in Texas and use my Ohio ID card? I don't really know. Thanks.

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21TB(1167 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Can you drive in another state with your Ohio drivers license? Think this one over.

You don't have to buy anything. I understand how subtlety is lost on you.

And again, you brought up foxnews. I answered your.queries with facts. You just didn't like the facts. Just like now...there are no facts bearing out election fraud.being committed on a scale that warrants an entire government ID program. Do you have any proof? Why are you worrying about a problem that does not exist?

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22borylie(769 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

TB, Here's one of many.Voter fraud, illegal activities reported in several states - Examiner.com
www.examiner.com/.../voter-fraud-ille...... Can you point out one of your facts again. I must of missed them. AAC and myself are having an intelligent debate, and we're not talking about an Ohio drivers license and driving in another state. We're talking about an Ohio ID card. Please pay attention. Thank you very much.

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