Virginia Congresman Gerry Connolly is sponsoring in the House and Virginia Senator Mark Warner is co-sponsoring (with Delaware Senator Chris Coons) in the Senate, the Fair, Accurate, Secure and Timely (FAST) Voting Act of 2012 (text below). The FAST ACT would create a competitive grant program in the model of Race to the Top education program to encourage states to enact voting reforms. The grants would be based on how well states can improve access to the polls in at least nine specific ways, including:
■Providing flexible registration opportunities, including same-day registration;
■Providing early voting, at a minimum of 9 of the 10 calendar days preceding an election;
■Providing absentee voting, including no-excuse absentee voting;
■Providing assistance to voters who do not speak English as a primary language;
■Providing assistance to voters with disabilities, including visual impairment;
■Providing effective access to voting for members of the armed services;
■Providing formal training of election officials, including State and county officials and volunteers;
■Auditing and reducing waiting times at polling stations; and
■Creating contingency plans for voting in the event of a natural or other disaster.
The program would also require an assessment of steps a state has taken to eliminate statutory, regulatory, procedural, and other barriers to expedited voting and accessible voter registration.
The Democratic Party of Virginia Resolutions Committee, meeting last night, adopted a resolution supporting such legislation and the resolutin will be presented to the DPVA Central Committee on December 8, 2012. Thanks to Cong. Connolly and Sen. Warner, and I will be posting much more about this and other federal, state, and local legislation and administrative actions to fix our voting systems.
FAST Voting Act (51.9 KiB, 800 hits)