Source: The Nation
President Obama's second inaugural address touched on the reality that the United States has a dysfunctional election system. Describing the nation's progress, as well as the ways in which the nation needs to progress, the president declared, "Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote."
Obama drew knowing applause when he spoke that truth in January 2013, as he did in November 2012, when just hours after his re-election the president noted that millions of Americans had "waited in line for a very long time" to vote. Then, in an ad lib that got more attention than his prepared remark, the president added: "By the way we have to fix that."
On Wednesday, the process of fixing the problem -- and of moving America a few more steps toward democracy -- accelerated. A little.
The bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration that Obama appointed last year released a report that recommends:
"1. Modernization of the registration process through continued expansion of online voter registration and expanded state collaboration in improving the accuracy of voter lists.
"2. Measures to improve access to the polls through multiple opportunities to vote before the traditional Election Day and the selection of suitable, well-equipped polling place facilities, such as schools.
"3. 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.