Federal election reform commission to hold hearing in Miami
The bipartisan election reform commission established by President Barack Obama will meet later this month in Miami, the focal point for the state's most-recent election meltdown.
The Presidential Commission on Election Administration is scheduled to meet all day June 28 at the University of Miami to take testimony and public comments from local, county and state election officials and citizens, according to a notice published Wednesday in the Federal Register.
"The (commission) was established to identify best practices and make recommendations to the president on the efficient administration of elections in order to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots without undue delay," the notice said, "and to improve the experience of voters facing other obstacles in casting their ballots."
When he announced the appointment of 10 commission members last month, Obama said the nation is "betraying our ideals" when voters face so many obstacles to cast a ballot.
Downtown Miami is a fitting site to discuss election problems. Some voters waited between five and eight hours to cast ballots, due partly to an unusually long ballot, a shortened early voting period and ill-prepared precincts.
But problems extended into other large urban counties throughout Florida. It took several days after the Nov. 6 election for Florida to count all its votes.
Obama's margin of victory in Florida over Republican challenger Mitt Romney was less than 1 percent — about 74,000 votes.
© 2015 Tampa Bay Times
Presidential Commission on Election Administration
Last month, President Barack Obama appointed 10 people to the Presidential Commission on Election Administration. The commission was created following the president's pledge to "identify nonpartisan ways to shorten lines at polling places, promote the efficient conduct of elections, and provide better access to the polls for all voters." Here are the names of the commission members and their background.
• Robert F. Bauer (co-chairman). Partner at Perkins Coie LLP and general counsel to the Democratic National Committee.
• Benjamin L. Ginsberg (co-chairman). Partner at Patton Boggs LLP and former general counsel to the Republican National Committee.
• Brian Britton. Vice president of Global Park Operations and Initiatives at Walt Disney World Co.
• Joe Echevarria. Chief executive officer of Deloitte LLP since June 2011 and chairman of the University of Miami School of Business' Board of Overseers.
• Trey Grayson. Director of the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
• Larry Lomax. Clark County registrar in Nevada and served on Pew Foundation Committee focused on modernizing our nation's system of registering voters.
• Michele Coleman Mayes. Vice president, general counsel and secretary for the New York Public Library.
• Ann McGeehan. Assistant general counsel of the Texas County and District Retirement System and previously served 22 years in the Elections Division of the Texas Secretary of State's Office.
• Tammy Patrick. Federal compliance officer for the Maricopa County Elections Department in Arizona. In 2013, she became voting member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' working group on developing standards for a universal format for election results reporting.
• Christopher Thomas. Director of elections in the Michigan Department of State since 1981.
Source: White House
If you go
To learn more about the commission and its June 28 hearing, you can visit the commission website, supportthevoter.gov. Or you can contact Mark Nejbauer, Designated Federal Officer, Presidential Commission on Election Administration, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The hearing is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at the David W. Dyer Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, 300 NE First Ave., Miami, 33132. It is scheduled to end at 5 p.m.