Local Governments Will Need Support for Election Reforms

Yesterday, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton visited Texas Southern University, a historically black college in Houston, where she called for stronger election administration practices to protect voters. Along with asking Congress to reboot the Voting Rights Act—which had “its heart … ripped out” by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013, Clinton said—she called for mandatory voter registration and at least 20 days of early voting.

As the public-policy think tank Demos pointed out in its “Millions to the Polls” report, automatically registering people to vote at 18 years old could improve voter turnout. And as University of Florida’s Daniel “Electionsmith” Smith has shown, allowing people more days to cast their ballots before election day could help mitigate problematic long voting lines, especially for people of color. It’s also important to note that it’s local governments, mainly counties, that are on the front lines of election administration, which means they’ll need a ton of support should those reforms ever happen.

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