Thursday, March 08, 2007

Election Reform on the Federal and State Levels

Along with Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, our own Senator Hillary Clinton introduced an updated version of the Count Every Vote Act yesterday to coincide with the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965, when several hundred civil rights marchers were attacked by police officers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

We think this bill is a good first step toward making sure that all eligible Americans have the opportunity to vote and to have their votes accurately counted.

The CEVA provides a range of improvements to our voter registration system, including:
  • Election Day registration and enhanced registration opportunities for newly eligible voters;

  • Improved security for electronic voting machines, including accessible voter-verified paper records and audit requirements;

  • Requirements for reducing waiting lines at the polls and ensuring equitable allocation of election resources; improvements to provisional balloting;

  • Measures to reduce partisanship and conflicts of interest in election administration; and

  • Enhancements to poll worker training and civic education.

In state voting news, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins also used the opportunity of the anniversary of Bloody Sunday to introduce election legislation. As noted by the Newsday blog Spin Cycle, her four bills “would create the misdemeanor crime of voter suppression, increase penalties for violations of the election laws, and make push polling illegal.” They report that Assemblyman George Latimer is expected to introduce the legislation in his chamber.

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