(KCBS) – On Election Night 2012, many Californians found it hard to understand why people in Florida and Ohio had to stand in line for up to eight hours to vote.
Indeed, 15 states still don’t offer early voting, and some states don’t have enough polling places – translating into long lines for an untold number of voters.
U.S. Representative George Miller (D-Calif.) is introducing a bill to make sure that never happens again.
“This is a hallmark of America. This is a beacon we send to the rest of the world,” the East Bay lawmaker said. “That we can change governments, we can change directions, we can change parties and philosophies by casting a vote and not shooting the gun…When that is interrupted by a lack of resources, it’s just not acceptable.”
KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:
Now, Miller is introducing the Simple Voting Act, which would require all states to have early voting for federal elections, as well as sufficient resources to keep lines from exceeding one hour.
Miller hoped it would prove especially helpful to voters in poor or minority-inhabited neighboroods.
“This is, unfortunately, in many areas just not an accident,” he declared. “It’s intentional.”
Miller is hopeful that his Republican colleagues will agree that election reform is needed.
“The outrage in the country is bipartisan. Whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, you don’t want to stand in line.”
In addition to Rep. Miller’s bill, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) also introduced similar federal legislation this week to address the aforementioned problems at the polls; essentially, the initial steps to put the issue on Congress’ agenda.
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)