COMMON CAUSE/PA TELLS
PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS ADMINSTRATION
PENNSYLVANIA NEEDS TO MODERNIZE
ITS ELECTION SYSTEMS
On September 4, 2013, Common Cause Pennsylvania submitted written and oral testimony to the Presidential Commission on Elections Administration. This special commission, appointed by President Obama, was charged with identifying best practices in election administration. The PCEA will recommend ways to modernize and upgrade America’s elections to Congress and the states.
Elizabeth Randol, Common Cause/PA’s (CC/PA) elections modernization campaign manager, described to the commission some of the problems that Pennsylvania voters experience while trying to vote, as well as the problems experienced by public officials responsible for administering Pennsylvania’s elections.
In partnership with organizations across PA, CC/PA deployed more than 250 poll monitors to observe elections in target communities for the November 2012 general election. While there was large-scale confusion about how to handle the enjoined voter photo ID law, CC/PA indicated there also appeared to be serious systemic problems regarding voter registrations, specifically with people who were legitimately registered to vote not being recorded in the poll books.
Randol urged the Commission to take actions necessary to make our elections better serve the voting public in terms of both the election day experience and all the activities that must occur prior to an election to make it flow smoothly. “The most important duty of this commission is to restore citizens’ confidence in the fairness and reliability of our elections by promoting procedures that ensure every eligible citizen who wants to vote has the opportunity to do so, to guarantee that every vote is counted exactly as cast, and reassure voters that they will be able to exercise their franchise in a safe and welcoming environment.”
While Common Cause/PA has recommended more than two dozen election modernization proposals to state and local officials it focused on only a few before the commission:
- Establish On-line Voter Registration;
- Permit Election Day Voter Registration;
- Create uniform nationwide standards for “purging” voter lists;
- Adopt “no excuse” absentee ballot options;
- Upgrade communication systems between precincts, county election officials, and state election officials on election day;
- Make poll worker training mandatory and uniform statewide;
- Enact strict laws that will punish people who attempt to intimidate voters, or suppress voting, and;
- Create a program to train and credential non-partisan poll monitors to oversee polling places and report election irregularities.
FOR THE FULL TESTIMONY, CLICK BELOW:
Common Cause Pennsylvania's written testimony to the Presidential Commission on Elections Administration.(Philadelphia Convention Center, September 4, 2013)
Common Cause/PA Testifies Before thePresidential Commission on Election Administration
September 4, 2013, Philadelphia: Thespecial commission appointed by President Obama to examine and evaluate howAmerican elections are being conducted met in Philadelphia today to hearcomments and recommendations by election experts and the public. Elizabeth Randol, Common Cause/PA’s (CC/PA) elections modernization campaignmanager, described to the commission some of the problems that Pennsylvaniavoters experience while trying to vote, as well as the problems experienced bypublic officials responsible for administering Pennsylvania’selections. Randol noted that “In the 2012 GeneralElection, Pennsylvania generated the second largest number of citizeninquiries and complaints after California with 9,171 calls (via a nationwidehotline) – and that was from those voters who were fortunate enoughto have heard about the election protection hotline or encountered an electionprotection poll monitor after experiencing a problem.” Click here for the full pressrelease.
Prepare for November 5th
2013 Key PA Election Dates
October 7: Last day to Register to Vote
October 29: Last day to apply for an Absentee Ballot
November 1: All Absentee Ballots due at county election office
November 5: ELECTION DAY
Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.