The voting booth is the place where every American can step up to directly participate in democracy by casting a ballot. Except when glitches happen — the long lines, faulty voter list and broken voting machine kind of problems.
Those are the issues a presidential commission aiming to improve voter access to the polls will focus on, expects Zack Stalberg of the Committee of 70, not controversial topics such as state voter identification laws.
The Commission of Election Administration, created by President Barack Obama after the last election, has set a public hearing in Philadelphia Wednesday.
“Now, I think many of the speakers or people who come to offer testimony will be trying to talk about larger voting rights issues, or especially voter ID,” predicts Stalberg.
Pennsylvania’s controversial ID law got a lot of attention in advance of the 2012 elections.
However, he says other Election Day problems could certainly use plenty of attention.
“Last year’s election in Philadelphia would be a good example of where people’s names weren’t in the voting book. They had voted for a long time,” he said. “They didn’t get notice they were registered.”
The commission’s hearing will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. It’s the only hearing scheduled to take place in the Northeast.