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  • Jane Andrade
    Director of Public Affairs
  • Jon Kuhl
    Director of Public Affairs
    Washington, D.C.
Aug. 9, 2013

Presidential Elections Commission to Solicit Feedback from State Lawmakers at NCSL Summit

ATLANTA—State lawmakers will be able to share their views on election reform with a special presidential commission during NCSL’s 39th annual Legislative Summit. “Speak Out: The Presidential Commission on Election Administration is Listening” will be held from 9:45-10:45 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14, in room B304 at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta.
President Barack Obama’s mention of long voting lines in his November 2012 acceptance speech led to an executive order to create the 10-member commission. The fast-tracked, blue-ribbon group of elections experts is developing voluntary best practices for states and local jurisdictions to consider during four public hearings. The hearings began in June and will wrap up in September. Two commission members will be on hand in Atlanta in order to hear directly from state legislators.
“State lawmakers are at the forefront of efforts to improve elections for voters,” said Nathaniel Persily, senior research director for the commission. “NCSL’s Summit provides a perfect opportunity for the commissioners to hear directly from legislators about what works, and what doesn’t.”

 NCSL’s Legislative Summit is the largest gathering of state lawmakers in the country, providing opportunities for legislators and legislative staff to come together to promote bipartisan dialogue on some of the most pressing concerns facing states. Making sure elections run smoothly is a top concern for lawmakers. Specific topics being considered by the elections commission include:

  • The number, location, management, operation and design of polling places.
  • The training, recruitment and number of poll workers.
  • Voting accessibility for uniformed and overseas voters.
  • The efficient management of voter rolls and poll books.
  • Voting machine capacity and technology.
  • Ballot simplicity and voter education.
  • Voting accessibility for individuals with disabilities, limited English proficiency and other special needs.
  • Management of issuing and processing provisional ballots in the polling place on Election Day.
  • The issues presented by the administration of absentee ballot programs.
  • The adequacy of contingency plans for natural disasters and other emergencies that may disrupt elections.
  • Other issues related to the efficient administration of elections that the co-chairs agree are necessary and appropriate to the commission's work.

A full agenda of the Summit’s more than 100 sessions is available on NCSL’s website and its 2013 Summit app. All meetings held in conjunction with NCSL’s Legislative Summit are open to the press. Previous or on-site registration (Room 210 in GWCC) is required, but free to credentialed members of the media.

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.