Bill will cut wait times, create online voter registration system
Washington, DC - Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, today introduced the "Voting Line Reduction and Online Registration Act" to modernize and coordinate the nation's voting process to eliminate long lines at the polls, allow online voter registration, and require early voting in every state. Virginia's 8th District experienced some of the longest voting lines in the nation, in some cases with voters waiting up to four hours to cast a ballot.
"This year's election resulted in widespread problems at the polls - broken voting machines, insufficient ballots, and prohibitively long wait lines," said Rep. Moran. "The Federal Government has a responsibility to ensure that every American eligible to vote and attempting to cast a ballot is successful."
Specifically, the Moran legislation targets three areas for improvement:
1) Establish an Internet voting registration system;
2) Allow a week of early voting; and
3) Expedite wait times at the polls on Election Day.
"Voting is a treasured right that our nation struggled for years to make available to all Americans," Moran continued. "When a majority of Americans use the Internet to pay bills and file their taxes, those same individuals should be able to register to vote and update their voting status online."
To bring the voter registration process online, the bill establishes a system where individuals can both register and update their voting information. The bill also streamlines the registration process through coordination with state agencies to allow individuals who receive state services to easily transfer their information to the voter registration rolls.
Voters in many states, including Virginia, faced waits of up to four hours to vote, due in large part to insufficient or faulty voting equipment. Moran's bill addresses these problems by directing the Election Assistance Commission to set a minimum number of voting systems, poll workers, and other election resources at each voting site for all Federal elections.
The legislation also aims to cut lines at polling sites down to a maximum one hour wait. To reduce long lines on Election Day, the bill requires early voting in all states for at least seven days before Election Day. Currently, only 32 states allow early voting.
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