Press release

Demos Applauds President Obama’s Elections Commission Recommendations as Good First Step, More Work Needs to be Done

When millions of Americans stood in lines for hours to vote yet again in the 2012 elections, President Obama recognized that “we need to fix that.” Today, the Presidential Commission on Election Administration released a report with their recommendations on ways to improve election administration. The Commission’s recommendations are welcome but much more work remains to be done to ensure every eligible voter can exercise their right to vote.

“This is an important step forward to realize the dream of equal opportunities for political participation for all Americans. We can and must improve our election administration so that the voices of all Americans can have an impact in our politics and policy making. The Commission’s recommendations are a good first step, but to fully protect the freedom to vote for all eligible voters, Congress must act to pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act,” said Miles Rapoport, President of Demos.

The Commission’s recommendations are a good first step, but to fully protect the freedom to vote for all eligible voters, Congress must act to pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act

Demos applauds the Commission for recognizing that voter registration is currently a principal barrier preventing Americans from exercising their fundamental rights. We particularly support the Commission’s recommendations to:

  • Expand Online Voting
  • Expand Early Voting
  • Enhance Poll Worker Recruitment and Training 
  • Ensure greater attention to language access and voters with disabilities 
  • Improve polling place allocation and design

While the policies called for by the Commission represent a baseline, we must go further to engage all citizens in the political process by facilitating participation, removing unnecessary barriers, and ensuring racial equity within our electoral system.

Demos will soon release a report showing how we can expand and streamline voter registration, make voting work at the polls, and protect and count every vote. This comprehensive report will highlight best electoral practices and recommend a set of policies and practices to truly bring millions of citizens to the polls to exercise their fundamental right to vote, including:

  • Expanding Same Day Registration 
  • Expanding and enforcing the National Voter Registration Act 
  • Protecting against overly restrictive ID requirements

Demos calls on all states and localities to move quickly to adopt and implement these solutions, and on the federal government to provide support and incentives.