Amanda Turkel at HuffPo has some hopeful news for people who like to exercise their right to vote without having to stand in endlessly long lines, at the cost of lost time, often money and/or jobs, and even physical discomfort. Some people waited as long as nine hours. And don’t get me started on all the confusion, misleading information about Election Day being on Wednesday, the threatening-but-inaccurate Voter I.D. billboards, and cutting early voting days/hours:
Here’s to hope and change:
The Department of Justice is already exploring ways to “fix” the long lines and confusion voters faced when going to the polls this year…
Tom Perez, the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said this at the George Washington University Law Review symposium:
“The Justice Department is considering whether we need to propose concrete solutions, such as a national standards for counting provisional ballots for federal elections, to ensure that voters are not disenfranchised by moves close to an election, by appearing at the wrong polling place, or by simple poll workers’ errors.” [...]
Perez also said it was time for the United States to rethink its system of partisan state and local election administration, which often leads both Democrats and Republicans to question officials’ motives behind election decisions.
He also embraced same-day voter registration and a system where individuals are automatically registered to vote by the government.
Then there’s Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act which says, per Turkel’s post, that states and localities with a history of suppressing the rights of minorities must obtain “preclearance” from the Justice Department or a federal court before making changes that affect voting. But never fear, the Supreme Court will soon fix that!
“Section 5 continues to be necessary, and Section 5 is not over inclusive,” Perez said. “And that is why we will continue to vigorously defend Section 5 in the Supreme Court.”
My personal hope is that we the people won’t take much of a post-election breather and will continue to stay organized and pro-active. We simply can’t afford not to.