Improving U.S. Voting Procedures

The New York Times has called the U.S. voting system “broken” and made a number of suggestions for improving the system.

First on its agenda is making it easier to vote.

Congress should establish a nonpartisan federal elections board “to maintain a national registration database, mandate the choice of voting machines and set standards for counting provisional ballots” Another desirable federal law would “require a clear early-voting period, removing the issue as a political football in states like Florida and Ohio, and standards for absentee voting.”

Yet another federal legislative proposal would “give grants to states that make registration easy, including allowing same-day registration; allow early voting; require no excuses for voting absentee; properly train poll workers; and provide sufficient polling places”.

States on their own could follow the lead of 17 states that already send electronic registration data from motor vehicle departments to election agencies, and of 10 states that allow people to register online.

Second on its agenda is removing barriers to voting.

In this year’s election Republicans in some states attempted to keep Democratic-leaning groups from voting, through methods like voter ID requirements. Republicans should abandon “this misguided and offensive effort.” Legislative action may be necessary to ban such measures.

Third on its agenda is diluting the power of money.

Ultimately this would require a constitutional amendment to countermand the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that the Constitution´s First Amendment Free Speech clause protects corporations’ monetary expenditures in political campaigns.

In the meantime legislation should be adopted to require disclosure of the corporate sources of such financial contributions and eliminate secret contributions. Another proposed law would offer federal money to match individuals´political contributions.

Conclusion

I concur in these recommendations as discussed in a prior posts about maximizing U.S. voting, the excesses of false allegations of voter fraud and the urgent need for reforming the election system.

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dwkcommentaries

As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

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