The 2012 Election Protection Report: Our Broken Voting and How to Repair It
February 13, 2013 | Election Protection
Every year, countless Americans across the country are blocked from voting—many having done everything they were supposed to do to exercise their civic right. The 2012 elections was a clarion call for change, and lawmakers must tackle these problems in a meaningful way.
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Summary. This Election Protection report provides a snapshot of the endemic problems that continue to plague American elections and sets the stage for federal and state legislators, state executives, and election officials to finally address the enduring difficulties that infect the voting process of this country. Though long lines were the story of the day, the problems run deeper than what appeared in the news media; the lines were a visible symptom of institutional problems afflicting our system of elections. Every year, countless Americans across the country are blocked from voting—many having done everything they were supposed to do to exercise their civic right. For these eligible and qualified voters—who show up at the polls on Election Day to make their voices heard only to be turned away because they inexplicably do not appear on the voter rolls or encounter a poorly trained poll worker not following voting rules—our democracy is broken.
Recurrent and Systemic Problems:
» Voter registration errors
» Ineffective planning
» Misallocation of resources and voting equipment
» Undertrained poll workers misapplying rules and not following proper procedures
» Understaffed polling places
» Malfunctioning voting machines
» Problems with absentee ballots
» Mismanaged polling locations
» Deceptive election practices
Policy Recommendations for Improved Elections:
» A registration system that is convenient, portable, and provides a failsafe for eligible voters
» Opportunities for its citizens to vote early in person
» Uniform standards both at the state and federal level and adoption of Election Administration Plans
» Clear laws to address deceptive practices and intimidation