Good for Coons – voting needs to be fixed

Filed in National by on November 16, 2012

I was hoping voting wouldn’t be an issue this year, so I’m glad Senator Coons proposed this:

Efforts to improve election administration and address the long lines that greeted voters on Election Day shifted to Capitol Hill on Thursday as House and Senate lawmakers unveiled related bills.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., introduced legislation that would establish a competitive-grant program within the Justice Department to provide states with incentives to improve their voting processes.

The problems were “profoundly concerning and upsetting to me,” Coons told reporters at a briefing. “That a dozen years after the debacle of the 2000 election, that we should still have these challenges and problems all across the country … I thought it was time to do something.”

His bill is a multipronged effort to improve access to the polls. It asks states to create flexible registration opportunities, emphasize early voting periods, promote no-excuse absentee voting, provide foreign language assistance, improve accessibility for disabled voters, train election officials, audit polls with long wait times and create contingency plans for voting during natural and other disasters.

Good stuff to be sure, but the real problem is corrupt Republican Governorships and private ownership of voting machines. So isn’t the real solution a nationalized voting system?

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Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (8)

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  1. John Young says:

    Great cause, but using federal incentives and then comparing it to RTTT to suggest it will be the right approach? Awful.

  2. cassandra m says:

    What I’d like to see is a contest. Put out a prize and some parameters and let people create ways to vote from your computer or your phone. The smarts are probably out there for some elegant solution that gets voting into the 21st century. If the government is really happy for me to file my taxes online, voting can’t be that much more difficult.

  3. Tom Hawk says:

    cassandra–Voting by computer is not anonymous. Every piece of information transmitted over the web contains data linking it to the computer that sent it. Also, it is probable that the ballot can be electronically edited by the receiver. Similar could be claimed by phone voting. The phone bit would require some means for the voter to actually see the ballot that is being used.

    For a long time discussion of American voting and the current and future pitfalls, may I recommend Brad Freidman at

  4. puck says:

    Tom is right. If they can look up the Petraeus love letters, they can look up your votes.

  5. Dave says:

    Promoting “no excuse absentee voting” is the easiest and lowest cost method of improving voting. Delawars current system is silly requiring a notarized application for some things, like incarceration,vacation, and business, to not being notarized for being sick. Who cares why you aren’t going to be around? Many of the problems with voting day could be resolved with just changing the absentee ballot requirements, at no cost.

    That’s what gets me sometimes. If something doesn’t cost an arm and leg, it can’t be a good idea. Sometimes there is low hanging fruit that can go a long way towards resolving some problems.

    While we are on the subject, why not start to work on voting identification issues now instead of waiting until an election year. The legislature could start thinking about ideas on how to deal with identification issues, which though small, seem to turn into big issues during an election year. Create a mobile id van that runs around the state getting ids for people who have none and no means of getting one. I mean really, the cost on that would be very small. Of course the preppers would complain about big brother, but it’s time for people to get some real id (pun intended).

  6. bamboozer says:

    Voting needs to be the same everywhere in every state, especially the pathetic Florida. Nationalize the process and the voting machines, as Coons notes it’s insane to not have improved from the 2000 disaster at the polls.

  7. Jason330 says:

    I agree. Clear, simple national standards. Also, a national voter photo ID, verified by the United Nations. (just kidding about that second part, but why don’t Democrats answer voter suppression with some suppression of their own. It could help wingnuts understand the implications of what they are trying to do.

  8. Dave says:

    I’d like to see national standards as well, but I believe the Constitution leaves the manner of elections to the state. Still, there is no reason why each state could not adopt a set of common standards even if there is no federal direction. Simple things like no excuse absentee ballots; early voting for all, etc. Even a set of common electronic standards. Why can’t the National Governors Association tackle those issues? Who is the head of the NGA? Maybe we could ask that person to tackle that.