On Thursday, President Obama signed an executive order creating the Presidential Commission on Election Administration. This isn’t a surprise, given that he mentioned it in February’s State of the Union speech. It’s good, though, to see the details. One especially good point:
The commission is “to be informed by, and shall strive to avoid duplicating, the efforts of other governmental agencies.”
We hope and expect that the extensive work done by organizations that are not, strictly speaking, governmental agencies will be considered as well. Three that come to mind are the National Association of Secretaries of State, the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Election Initiatives and the CalTech-MIT Voting Technology Project.
As for NCSL, we have deep resources on most of the election administration issues that the commission will consider. We paraphrase those issues here, and provide links to a sample NCSL resource on each topic. For those areas where we don’t have research posted, you can be sure we’re working on it behind the scenes.
Voting accessibility for people with special needs
We look forward to whatever the next steps may be for the commission. We imagine that the very next step will be appointing members (the co-chairs are Republican Ben Ginsberg and Democrat Bob Bauer). Because state lawmakers bear primary responsibility for shaping election laws, we hope they will have a voice on the commission.