Preventing long lines in future elections

December 5, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
California Senator Barbara Boxer introduced legislation Wednesday in hopes of preventing long lines and hours-long waits in future elections.

During the last presidential election, some voters in other states faced up to a seven hour wait as they tried to cast their ballots. Boxer doesn't want it to happen again. The LINE Act would establish national standards for the minimal number of voting machines and election workers on Election Day. The goal is to keep wait times under an hour nationwide.

While Fresno County Supervisor Henry Perea supports the concept of Boxer's plan, he is curious about how counties would pay for it. "I hope that as the bill moves forward that it does have funding attached to it? If we're going to open more precincts, so we have the opportunity to do so. If they don't, then it's going to be a challenge internally to prioritize scare resources," said Perea.

Sabina Gonzalez-Erana with Communities for a New California also thinks the legislation is a good start. "I think it's worth beginning a conversation at the federal level about what our responsibility is at the government level to make sure people have access to voting," said Gonzalez-Erana.

Among its other goals, CNC works to protect voting rights. Gonzalez believes even more can be done. One example she gave would be to expand early voting opportunities, perhaps allowing voters to vote at the grocery store.


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