Bloomberg by the Numbers: 30

Photograph by Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg

A voter casts his ballot at a makeshift polling location in the Staten Island borough of New York City.

No citizen should have to wait more than 30 minutes to vote as a general rule, according to an election commission’s advisory report yesterday.

“The image of voters waiting for six or more hours to vote on Election Day 2012, as in the two previous Presidential contests, spurred the call for reform that led to creation of” the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, it said in a report yesterday that offered recommendations for improving voting processes and how elections are run.

Some of its recommendations include adopting online voter registration systems that improve accuracy of voter rolls and reduce costs and human error; using more schools as voting places because they are widespread and convenient; instituting poll worker training standards; providing online access to ballots and registration materials for military and overseas voters who have sometimes; and overhauling the process of certifying voting machines.

The commission also endorsed an expansion of opportunities for voters to cast ballots before Election Day. So-called early voting in person or by mail has expanded over the past few election cycles. More than 47 million Americans in the 2012 election cast ballots early, or about one-third of the electorate. That was more than double the early-voting rate in the 2000 election, according to the report.

“Early in-person voting allows election authorities to use the facilities available to them for longer periods of time to relieve some of the traffic that would occur on Election Day,” the report said.

President Barack Obama created the panel last March through executive order. It was led by Democratic lawyer Bob Bauer and Republican lawyer Ben Ginsberg.

Read the report here.


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