Facilitating the voting process has been a hot topic in Washington following the close of the election. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has been in the discussion for months, combating the rise of the voter identification laws that he deems as an infringing upon the constitution. While speaking at John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Holder advocated for the use of a national registration system through the use of existing databases. The federally managed system would maintain polling standards in every state, and individual polling locations.
“Modern technology provides ways to address many of the problems that impede the efficient administration of elections,” Holder said during the speech. “We could not only improve the integrity of our elections, but save precious taxpayer resources.”
“We must acknowledge that giving our fellow citizens access to the voting booth for longer hours and over additional days will enable more of them to cast their ballots without unduly interfering with the work or family obligations that so many have,” he added.
Such large scale reform of the voting process would require approval from Congress, and would certainly be met with opposition from Republicans. Increasing the scale of the registration process and organizing an automated system could potentially lead to easier methods of voter fraud, the original reasoning behind the voter identification laws.
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on “the state of the right to vote” to discuss topics such as voter ID laws and polling practices on December 19. Legislation aimed at improving the voting process has already been proposed, such as the LINE Act, which would allow the attorney general to set national standards for resources at polling places, and the FAST Voting Act, which would financially reward states that improved their voting process.
While talks of a nationally regulated voting system begin, Holder placed the weight of facilitating the process on the current polling officials.
“When it comes to strengthening our democracy – in addition to eradicating discrimination and disenfranchisement – it’s imperative that state and local officials also continue to focus on improving the administration of elections”