By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Presidential Commission on Election Administration presented President Obama on Wednesday with a series of recommendations designed to help states improve the voter experience. Pennsylvania has a lot of work to do.
“Pennsylvania and Philadelphia has a lot of hard work ahead of them,” says Ellen Kaplan, vice president and policy director at Committee of Seventy. The voting rights watchdog group helped organize the bipartisan commission’s hearing in Philadelphia last summer and Kaplan was one of dozens of witnesses who offered testimony.
The Commission’s recommendation compiled testimony from several hearings across the country and include suggestions like online voting, expanding opportunities to vote beyond election day, better polling training and electronic poll books.
“These recommendations go right to the heart of some of the voting problems in Pennsylvania and in Philadelphia,” she says, applauding the report, “I hope Pennsylvania will take these to heart.”
Kaplan called the recommendation “encouraging,” but notes the commission cannot force states to act to improve the voting experience. She pointed out that the Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill for online voting registration, but the bill has stalled in the state house.
“I hope this report will force states all over the country, as well as Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, to say– this is what we should be striving for,” she says.