NEW: Langevin Calls for Changes to Nation’s Voting System
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Following numerous instances of excruciatingly long lines as well as complications at the polls that made it more difficult for people across the country to vote in this month’s election, and with some communities still trying to finish their ballot counting more than a week later, Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) is proposing efforts to fix systemic problems in our voting system.
As a first step, Langevin, who worked to reform Rhode Island's outdated election system as Secretary of State in the 1990s and helped to craft the Help America Vote Act during his first term in Congress, is urging swift action by the Senate to fill openings on the Election Assistance Commission (EAC).
Formed as part of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to respond to challenges highlighted by the 2000 presidential election, the commission has four vacancies requiring Senate confirmation. Langevin also points out that HAVA funding has unfortunately decreased since its passage despite the law’s recognition of the need to invest in our election infrastructure over the long term.
“While states will continue to administer the elections process, the EAC still has an important role to play in assisting states to avert some of the problems voters encountered in the 2012 election,” writes Langevin, who made the Rhode Island ballot easier to use during his Secretary of State tenure. “It is clear that many of the same problems that existed in 2000 still exist today despite the best efforts of a resource-challenged EAC. In the interest of avoiding these challenges in the future, I urge you to work with the Administration in filling the vacancies that remain in the EAC.”