Richard Winger, of Ballot Access News, writes today of a House Judiciary Committee resolution (HJ4) introduced by Stephanie Tubbs Jones which would mandate same-day registration and no-excuse absentee balloting.
The press release from Tubbs’s office refers to it as the “Count Every Vote Act,” and it includes a substantial number of reforms, including:
- Voter verified paper records
- Standardized rules for provisional ballots
- Uniform training procedures for all poll workers, produced (and policed?) by the EAC
- Designates election day as a Federal holiday
- Mandates no-excuse absentee voting
- Requires day of election registration
Many of these reforms are laudable. I’ve argued before, for instance, that we should make election day a national holiday first as a way to enhance participation before we try out other “solutions” (such as widespread absentee balloting) which may other other unanticipated consequences.
There is a lot in there, however, and don’t think the chances for this legslation are good. The list of supporters is impressive: ” Senator Clinton and Representative Tubbs Jones announced the action today in a press conference joined by co-sponsors Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative John Lewis (D-GA) and voting rights advocates, including Ralph G. Neas, President of People For the American Way; Hilary Shelton, Director of the Washington Office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Barbara Arnwine, the Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Wendy Weiser, Deputy Director, the Brennan Center for Justice.”
Let’s hope they make some headway.
To see other election reform bills on the Congressional Agenda, just browse over to Thomas.gov.