NAACP Statement on Presidential Election Commission Report
January 22, 2014
(Baltimore)—Today, the Presidential Commission on Election Administration released a report on the American voting experience and offered recommendations and election best practices for state level election reform moving forward.
“This report is a call to action for election administration reform,” stated Lorraine C. Miller, NAACP Interim President and CEO. “The commission’s recommendations should serve as a foundation for states to move forward with key modernization efforts, including early voting and secure online voter registration. This report also illustrates the need for Congress to fully operationalize the Election Assistance Commission. These reforms are essential for our nation to truly have free and fair elections.”
The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) was a bipartisan, independent group created by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) and charged with developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, and serving as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration.
“The report provides a roadmap for opening up the voting experience for all Americans,” stated Jotaka Eaddy, Sr. Director for the NAACP Voting Rights Initiative. “For far too long, antiquated voting machines, long lines, and insufficient numbers of voting machines in communities of colors have served as a barrier to the ballot box. These recommendations move us closer to the inclusive democracy we deserve. The NAACP and our 1200 units across the nation are committed to ensuring that these reforms aimed at expanding access to our democracy are implemented.”
Key recommendations in the report call for:
Modernization of the registration process through continued expansion of online voter registration and expanded state collaboration in improving the accuracy of voter lists;
Measures to improve access to the polls through expansion of the period for voting before the traditional Election Day, and through the selection of suitable, well-equipped polling place facilities, such as schools;
State-of-the-art techniques to assure efficient management of polling places, including tools the Commission is publicizing and recommending for the efficient allocation of polling place resources; and,
Reforms of the standard-setting and certification process for new voting technology to address soon-to-be antiquated voting machines and to encourage innovation and the adoption of widely available off-the-shelf technologies.
Shortly after the State of the Union address in 2013, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order establishing the Commission on Election Administration. According to the commission, this report is the result of several months of field hearings, consultation with state and local election officials, academic experts, and organizations and associations involved in the election process.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.