Memories of Long Lines Focus Attention on Election Reform

(This article originally appeared in the Stateside Dispatch, Progressive States Network's email roundup of the latest state policy news. Sign up to receive the Dispatch in your inbox here.)

A new analysis showing how widely voters' wait times on Election Day differed by state and demographic group — as well a new report on how voter registration modernization and early voting could help fix the problem — are both helping to focus more attention on election reform efforts early in state legislative sessions. Meanwhile, efforts to suppress the vote are proceeding as well, while a controversial redistricting scheme in Virginia seems to have fallen apart.

PSN released this infographic and map of how voters' wait times differed by state and demographic group. [PSN]

The Brennan Center for Justice released a report with three main recommendations on how to fix the problem of long lines at the polls: modernizing voter registration, a fixed national time period for early voting, and setting minimum standards for polling place access. [Huffington Post]

Nicole Austin-Hillery on the Voter Empowerment Act, comprehensive legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. John Lewis that would "address the core problems that led to voter frustration and disfranchisement in 2012." [Roll Call]

Florida Gov. Rick Scott's own Secretary of State is joining the call for expanded early voting days and locations in Florida. [AP]

Reports indicate that President Obama may soon join the push for action in Congress — perhaps including it in his State of the Union address this week. [New York Times]

Ari Berman in The Nation on the collapse of the bipartisan consensus in support of the Voting Rights Act, and why conservatives are now trying to destroy it. [The Nation]

A bill that would have purged Colorado's voter rolls of "suspected" non-citizens failed to pass. [Project Vote]

Virginia's partisan redistricting scheme, launched last month while a key State Senator was absent attending President Obama's inauguration, fell apart after being ruled "not germane" by the Speaker of the House. [ThinkProgress]

Virginia passed another measure restricting the types of identification accepted at the polls. [Blue Virginia]

Legislation introduced in Indiana would attempt to prevent out-of-state college students from voting. [Indianapolis Star]


Read the full Dispatch from February 11, 2013 here.