Voting Reform Agenda
America’s electoral system is ramshackle, rife with error, and prone to partisan manipulation. Long lines, voters not on the registration rolls, and broken machines lead to confusion at the polls. As the leading democracy of the world, our voting system should be free, fair, and accessible to all eligible Americans. Every citizen has a responsibility to vote on Election Day. But it is the government’s responsibility to make sure the system works efficiently for those who exercise this responsibility. Those who take the time to participate in democracy are owed at least that much.
The Brennan Center works to improve our voting system and bring elections into the 21st century. This starts with voter registration modernization, our signature proposal to ensuring that every eligible voter can become and stay a registered voter, using digital technology to pass names of consenting citizens from state agencies to election officials. We also need to create more opportunities for Americans to vote by creating a minimum early voting period. This will make voting more accessible for everyone and provide a safety valve against Election Day overload. Finally, the federal government needs to set minimum standards for voting — including voting machine, polling place, and resource allocation — an idea Americans overwhelmingly support.