Presidential Commission Issues Recommendations on Improving Voting Experience

By David Bruggeman
January 29, 2014

On January 22, the Presidential Commission on Election Administration issued the report requested of it by President Obama.  Formed after reports of long lines and other voting difficulties in the 2012 election, the Commission was charged with identifying best practices in election administration and recommend steps to improve the voting experience.  The Commission held several meetings in the second half of 2013 and engaged election officials, researchers, advocates and members of the public to gather information. USACM submitted a letter to the Commission in June 2013 outlining how voting technology has unique requirements.

The report offers recommendations in four major categories: voter registration, access to the polls, polling place management and voting technology.  As we noted in our press release, several of the report’s recommendations reflect concerns USACM has expressed in previous comments on voting technologies.   Specifically:

  • Continued expansion of online voter registration and collaboration in improving the accuracy of voting rolls and efficiency of the registration process. (Read the ACM voter registration database report)
  • Reform the standards and certification process for voting technology to encourage innovation in voting technology and the adoption of available technologies for voting purposes.
  • Make sure polling places are accessible to all voters and are designed to function smoothly so that every citizen can use them throughout the voting process.
  • Conducting post-election audits of voting equipment to allow the accurate recounting of ballots.
  • Improve the ability of military and overseas votes to access ballots and other voting materials via the internet (though the internet is not secure enough to permit voting).  (Read the USACM brief on internet voting.)