Voter Access

How can we best ensure that every one that is authorized to vote has the correct access to do so?

  1. Require states to provide notice (in a way that accounts for local linguistic preferences) of polling place changes at least seven days before an election
  2. Require states with voter identification requirements to permit voters who lack identification to vote if they complete a sworn written statement attesting to their identity (unless the individual is a first-time voter who registered by mail)
  3. Allow Native American tribes to designate buildings as ballot pickup and collection locations and require states to provide language accessible mail-in ballots to people who live on tribal lands without requiring residential addresses
    1. The limited amount of polling sites and drop boxes for mail-in ballots have caused issues in the past for Native Americans on some reservations to have to drive up to 150 miles to vote.
  4. Direct states to equitably allocate voting systems, poll workers, and other election resources among polling places to ensure a fair and equitable waiting time and that no individual will be required to wait longer than 30 minutes to cast a ballot
    1. In the instance of long lines/wait times, the polling locations should remain open to those that had already been waiting at the time polls close
    2. A method of restricting access to anyone that arrives after the time that polls close should be enacted.
  5. Require states to limit variations in the number of hours of operation for polling places within the state, including requiring that all polling places be open for at least four hours outside of regular working hours
  6. Prohibit states from restricting curbside voting
  7. Require every provisional ballot to be counted with respect to the contests in which the voter who cast it was eligible to vote (so, for example, a voter who cast their ballot in a precinct where they were ineligible to vote in local contests would still have their vote for statewide office counted)
  8. Require states to establish uniform and nondiscriminatory standards for issuing, handling, and counting provisional ballots in federal elections.
  9. Early Voting: with the voting population increasing every year the ability for all eligible voters to participate at the polls in a timely manner is becoming increasingly more difficult. Early voting is intended to provide additional time for voters to go to the polls that would be more convenient
    1. Require states to allow at least one week of early voting for federal elections (including weekends), for a period of at least ten hours per day, including some early morning and evening hours
    2. Require states to ensure, to the greatest extent practicable, that early voting locations are within walking distance of public transportation, are accessible to rural voters, and are located on college campuses
    3. States should NOT begin processing and scanning ballots cast during early voting until election day. (Prior to that time full chain of custody and physical security needs to be maintained to ensure ballots are not tampered with)
  10. Make Election Day a public holiday.

 

Mail-In Voting

  1. Any eligible voter should be allowed to vote by mail in local and federal elections (no-excuse absentee voting)
  2. Election officials should deliver Mail-In ballot applications to all registered voters at least 60 days prior to Election Day
  3. Allow voters to request mail-in ballots online or by phone;
  4. Prohibit states from requiring voters casting a ballot by mail to provide identification aside from a signature, and require signature discrepancy issues to be resolved by at least two trained election officials affiliated with different parties
  5. Require states to make a good faith effort to notify voters of apparent signature discrepancies and provide an opportunity to cure any issues within ten days
    1. If signature comparison software is utilized, it should be set for a 95 percent effective rate.
  6. Require mail-in ballots and ballot applications to be accessible for voters with disabilities
  7. Require states to send a mail-in ballot to any voter who requests one at least five business days prior to Election Day, and to accept any mail-in ballot postmarked on or before Election Day if it arrives within ten days after the election
  8. Direct the postal service to ensure that mail-in ballots are processed and cleared within one day of arriving at a postal facility
  9. Prohibit the postal service from carrying out any operational changes that would restrict the prompt and reliable delivery of voting materials within 120 days of a federal election
  10. Require states to allow voters to return mail-in ballots to designated drop-off locations or to a polling place during early voting or on Election Day
    1. require states to provide a sufficient number of secure, accessible, and widely distributed drop-boxes for completed absentee ballots in federal elections, starting at least 45 days before an election
    2. A significant number of secure drop box locations should be provided by the election office starting at least 30 days prior to the election - ballots should be collected from authorized drop boxes only
    3. Drop boxes should be located in secure settings where they are under 24-hour security, under video surveillance, and located in government buildings. The video surveillance should be available to designated representatives of the candidates and major political parties.
    4. Require that these drop-boxes be accessible for use by individuals with disabilities, by individuals with limited English proficiency, and by unhoused individuals;
    5. There should be no restrictions on where a voter's ballot is returned, as long as it is to an authorized dropbox location as described above
  11. Allow voters to designate someone else to return their completed and sealed mail-in ballot, as long as the person is not being compensated, and prohibit limits on the number of ballots any designated person can return
  12. Prevent states from prohibiting any person from distributing mail-in ballot applications, or from prohibiting election officials from distributing voter registration applications
  13. Require states to establish tracking programs for mail ballots and provide information on whether an individual’s vote was counted and, if not, why not
  14. To avoid the same Mail-In ballot being counted more than once, all Mail-In ballots should have an embedded bar code or microchip. The code would not identify which voter is receiving the ballot since that would compromise ballot secrecy. Instead, the purpose of the code would be to trigger software within the computer scanners to note that a specific ballot is being counted and cannot be counted again.
  15. Require prepaid return envelopes for mail-in ballots and ballot applications.
  16. Mail-In ballots should not be processed until election day, similar to early voting ballots
  17. No completed Mail-In ballot received from a voter should be removed from its envelope until the verification process—a verification process that is subject to observation by designated observers of the candidates and/or the major political parties—has been completed.
  18. A special procedure should be implemented to investigate the validity of the registration of any registered voter whose requested absentee ballot is returned as undeliverable by the U.S. Postal Service.

Voting assistance

Any individuals providing assistance to a voter in a voting booth because the voter is illiterate, disabled, or otherwise require assistance should be required to complete a form, to be filed with poll election officials, providing their name, address, contact information, and the reason they are providing assistance. They should also be required to provide a photo ID.