WILMINGTON, Del. – In its report to President Obama on Wednesday, the Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA) included several recommendations that would be addressed by the Louis L. Redding Fair, Accurate, Secure and Timely (FAST) Voting Act, first introduced by U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) after the 2012 elections. Among other key recommendations, the Commission urged:
“As Americans, the right to vote is among our most fundamental values,” Senator Coons said. “The 2012 elections were a wakeup call, revealing that significant challenges and dysfunction still plague the election process in many districts. I introduced the FAST Voting Act to jumpstart states’ election reforms, and I am glad to see that the recommendations released today by the PCEA reflect the same core ideas embedded in that legislation. We can and must take steps now to improve the voting experience across America. It’s time for Congress to pass the FAST Voting Act and follow through on the strong recommendations put forth today by the PCEA. Americans deserve better in 2014.”
Prominently featured throughout the 71-page PCEA report (http://bit.ly/1kY29ZX) is the testimony of Delaware State Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove, who appeared before the Commission on September 4, 2013.
“I am especially proud of the significant contribution made by Delaware State Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove to the PCEA’s report,” Senator Coons said. “Commissioner Manlove and Delaware’s state leaders are leading efforts to improve the voting process for our citizens, and their model will help to set the standard for free and fair elections across the country.”
The FAST Voting Act would create a competitive grant program to encourage states to aggressively pursue election reform. The states that demonstrate the most comprehensive and promising reform plans would earn a greater portion of the grant funding. Applicant states are encouraged to improve access to the polls in at least nine specified ways, including:
The bill, which is cosponsored by Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), also requires an assessment of steps the state has taken to eliminate statutory, regulatory, procedural and other barriers to expedited voting and accessible voter registration.