Independent Pennsylvanians, part of the national IndependentVoting.org network, will be on hand to testify at the upcoming public hearing of President Obama’s Commission on Election Administration. The hearings will take place in Philadelphia, on September 4th, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, rooms 102 and 103. The 10-member commission is tasked with presenting recommendations to the president about how to “improve the voting experience.”
The Commission has already held public hearings in DC, Florida, and Denver, where representatives of independent voter groups from Virginia, New York and Florida submitted testimony. Independent voters have a lot to say about electoral reform, and are taking advantage of this opportunity to voice these concerns to the bi-partisan commission, despite the narrow agenda that has been set forth for the hearings.
Representatives of Independent Pennsylvanians plan to testify to the Commission on the specific defects that affect independent voters. “With 40% of Americans now identifying as independent, this should be a Commission priority,” said the organization’s founder, Jennifer Bullock. “Instead the Commission doesn’t seem prepared to address our range of issues.”
“Independents are not accorded the same courtesies and privileges as members of political parties, such as receiving mailed ballots at home or having the right to serve as poll workers on Election Day,” said Bullock. “During primary season, where some states permit us to vote, we come face to face with poll workers who do not understand their own rules and frequently misinform us about our voting rights. We have no representation on the Federal Elections Commission or Boards of Elections, and we are barred from primary voting altogether, even though we – as taxpayers – finance those closed party primaries. Our message to the Commission is this. As you go about your work to identify and recommend improvements to the voting experience, you must recognize that the American people want a more non-partisan form of politics at every level”.
Citizens interested in testifying before the Commission of Election Administration should make plans to be present at the hearings on September 4th.