As he promised during his State of the Union address, President Obama signed a new executive order that established a new voting commission to help improve efficiency and access at voting polls. This was in response to lines that were hours long at some of the polls voters suffered through last November.
Nine members will form the commission, each appointed by Obama. There will be two co-chairs who will be the chief lawyers that represented each candidate in the election of 2012: Ben Bauer of the President’s campaign and Ben Ginsburg from the Mitt Romney campaign.
The commissions’ report is designed to serve as a practices guide for local and state election officials in order to improve the experience of the voter when at the polls under existing election laws, said a White House spokesperson last week.
The commission, amongst other things, will also investigate the number of different polling places and the management of the same, the number of poll workers and their training, technology for voting machines, absentee and provisional ballot issues and the simplicity of the ballot.
The president said during his address to the country and Congress that when any American, not matter what party or where they lived, is denied the right to vote just because they are unable to wait four, five or more hours in line to vote, that as a country we are betraying our ideals.
He said a fix can be made and that is what the establishing of the commission intends to do. However, the idea of a commission has received criticism from both liberals and conservatives. Some liberals feel it is a timid approach to a big problem, while some conservatives say it is government overreach.