Election reform advocates regroup, plan next steps
A collection of five organizations that represent the left, right and cross-partisan communities released what is perhaps the most concrete proposal for moving forward on Thursday.
The Bipartisan Policy Center, Issue One, Unite America, the R Street and the American Enterprise Institute issued a report, “Prioritizing Achievable Federal Election Reform,” which proposes policies across four areas: voter registration, casting ballots, vote-counting, and cyber- and physical security.
“The proposals outlined in this report are rooted in a deep history of broad support across the political spectrum, but we will only cross the finish line if Republicans and Democrats are able to set aside partisan differences and do what’s right for our country,” said Issue One CEO Nick Penniman. “We cannot allow inaction to continue. Passing key bipartisan election reforms is absolutely crucial.”
But rather than mandating specific policies, like the Freedom to Vote Act would have done, the report suggests providing grants to states that engage in certain practices, such as:
- Regular maintenance of voter rolls.
- Automatic voter registration.
- Requiring a minimum standard for voter identification.
- Seven-day early voting period.
- Absentee voting options for all voters, with proper security measures.
- Requiring mailed ballots to be received by the time polls close on Election Day.
- Training and security for election workers.
“Elections must be trustworthy, and voting must be convenient,” said Matt Germer, R Street’s resident elections fellow. “This new legislative framework shows how long-standing Republican, Democratic and bipartisan priorities can work in harmony to improve our elections without overbearing federal mandates.”