Panel recommends early voting expansion - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Panel recommends early voting expansion

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Alabama does not allow early voting; 32 states have made provisions for voters to cast ballots prior to election day.

The Presidential Commission on Election Administration presented its recommendations toward making certain no American has to wait more than a half hour to vote. In the last presidential election, some people waited more than eight hours to cast a ballot.

The Commission's recommendations do not include any federal legislation; they are nonbinding for states, but serve as guidelines for the future.

The four main recommendations include:

  • increased use of technology such as online voting registration
  • expand early voting or voting by mail
  • consider more careful distribution of resources to match number of voting machines and volunteers placed at each polling location
  • reform voting machine technology regulations

The Commission warned of an "impending crisis" as voting machines purchased more than a decade ago will need to be replaced. There are no federal funds available at this time to buy new ones. 

Many of the suggestions from the bipartisan commission were praised by voter advocacy groups. The theory is that elections need to be modernized and the voter registration system updated to reflect the technology available in the 21st century.

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