President Obama talked about voting rights in the State of the Union address, claiming we are “betraying our ideals” when any American has to “wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot.” He announced a “nonpartisan commission to improve the voting experience in America.”
While there may have been some Americans who waited for long periods to vote in 2012, the vast majority did not. A recent study of the 2012 election reported that the average wait time nationally was only 14 minutes.
And in fact, we already have a federal bipartisan election commission. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission was established in 2002 by the Help America Vote Act. It was tasked with recommending “best practices” in election administration to the states. But it is, in essence, a non-functioning agency: The seats of the four commissioners who run the agency have sat empty for a long time (they are supposed to be filled by the President), and the top two career slots, the general counsel and the staff director, also sit empty. So now President Obama wants to establish yet another election commission, bypassing the one we already have that has been idle—due to a lack of staffing that he is largely responsible for.
Read more at heritage.org . By Hans von Spakovsky.