Commission Recommends Election Reforms
Special Report - September 21, 2005
Following years of public unrest over alleged voter fraud and disenfranchisement, an independent commission charged with finding ways to improve the nation’s elections has reported its findings to Congress. The 21-member Commission on Federal Election Reform was co-chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker and included members from both political parties.
Among the report’s dozens of recommendations was a change to the presidential primary schedule wherein four regional primaries would be held a month apart between March and June following the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primaries. The commission’s report defends the idea pointing out, “The presidential primary system is organized in a way that encourages candidates to start their campaigns too early, spend too much money, and allow as few as eight percent of the voters to choose the nominees.”
One of the more controversial recommendations asks states to require voters to have a photo ID to votea recommendation that elicited protests from civil rights groups. Other recommendations include: requiring voting machines to have a paper trail for auditing, requesting that media outlets voluntarily refrain from projecting presidential election results until all of the polls have closed in the 48 contiguous states, and having each state establish a “unified, top-down registration system” where the state is in charge of keeping voter registration roles instead of localities.
Link to the commission’s report: http://www.american.edu/ia/cfer/index.htm
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