The president of the League of Women Voters said Wednesday that President Barack Obama has failed to take bold steps toward improving the voting process in this country.
On HuffPost Live Wednesday, League president Elizabeth MacNamara harshly criticized Obama's new independent voting commission, which he announced during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
Obama said the commission would seek to "improve the voting experience in America" and would be led by top attorneys from his and Gov. Mitt Romney's presidential campaigns. According to a senior administration official, the commission will be led by Bob Bauer, former general counsel for the Obama campaign, and Ben Ginsberg, former top election lawyer for Romney's 2012 operation.
MacNamara said these appointments make the commission about politics, not the people, and will only delay any progress being made.
"He is essentially kicking the can down the road by appointing a commission," MacNamara told HuffPost Live. "Every four years we go through this. Every four years we know that there are going to be long lines. So we are disappointed that rather than taking bold action, the president has decided to appoint a commission instead."
MacNamara also issued a release Wednesday on behalf of the League of Women Voters in which she called Obama's commission "business as usual."
She told HuffPost Live's Jacob Soboroff that the League has put forward four priorities it would like to see the president address: 1) making sure voters have permanent and portable registration within their states; 2) establishing secure online voter registration; 3) setting standards for early voting; and 4) ensuring we have equitable distribution of polling places.
"These are things we would like the president to explore the opportunity for executive action and remind voters and Congress that this is about people going to the polls," MacNamara said. "This is not about politicians finding solutions to election problems. This is about people being able to go and actually cast their vote on election day."
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