February 12, 2014

SCHUMER HOLDS SENATE RULES COMMITTEE HEARING WITH TOP LAWYERS FROM ROMNEY, OBAMA CAMPAIGNS TO DISCUSS PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS ON IMPROVING ELECTION ADMINISTRATION

The bipartisan Presidential Commission on
Election Administration has released its report outlining key findings and
recommendations on improving voting in America

The bipartisan Commission’s recommendations
include modernizing the registration process, expanding the period of time for
voting before Election Day and implementing state-of-the-art techniques to
manage polling places more efficiently

The Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, chaired by U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, held a hearing today to hear testimony on the findings and recommendations of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration. The bipartisan commission was created by Executive Order and tasked with identifying best practices in election administration and to make recommendations to improve the voting experience. 

“The Presidential Commission on Election Administration report has provided a valuable roadmap for improving election administration in this country,” Schumer said. “I commend their effort to identify bipartisan solutions that can lead to a better Election Day for voters and administrators alike.”

The witnesses were Robert F. Bauer, founder and partner in the Political Law Group at the law firm of Perkins Coie, and Benjamin L. Ginsberg, partner at Patton Boggs LLP, who were co-chairs of the Presidential Commission. Robert Bauer is General Counsel to the Democratic National Committee and in the 2008 and 2012 Presidential election cycles, was General Counsel to Obama for America. Benjamin Ginsberg serves as counsel to the Republican Governors Association and in 2008 and 2012 he served as national counsel to the Romney for President Campaigns.

On March 28, 2013 the Executive Order establishing the Commission was signed. The Commission was charged with providing a final report within six months of its first public meeting. The Commission released its report on January 22, 2014.

The 10-member Commission included current and former election officials, as well as representatives of successful customer service-oriented businesses.

According to the Commission’s charter it was charged with identifying best practices and making recommendations to promote the efficient administration of elections in  order to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots without undue delay, and to improve the experience of voters facing other obstacles in casting their ballots, such as members of the military, overseas voters, voters with disabilities, and voters with limited English proficiency.

The Presidential Commission on Election Administration’s website can be found at http://www.supportthevoter.gov/. A PDF of the report can be found at

https://www.supportthevoter.gov/files/2014/01/Amer-Voting-Exper-final-draft-01-09-14-508.pdf

 

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Mr. Robert F. Bauer founded and is a partner in the Political Law Group at the law firm
of Perkins Coie. In Mr. Bauer's 30 years of practice, he has provided
counseling and representation on matters involving regulation of political
activity before the courts and administrative agencies of national and state
party committees, candidates for elective office, political committees,
individuals, federal officeholders, corporations and trade associations, and
tax-exempt groups.

Mr. Bauer is also Distinguished Scholar in
Residence and Senior Lecturer at the New York University School of Law. He is
the author of several books —Soft Money Hard Law: A Guide to the New Campaign
Finance Law (2002) and More Soft Money Hard Law: The Second Edition of the
Guide to the New Campaign Finance Law (2004) — and numerous articles in law
reviews and other publications. He also writes on issues in election law at www.moresoftmoneyhardlaw.com.

From December of 2009 until June of 2011, Mr.
Bauer served as White House Counsel to President Barack Obama. He is General
Counsel to the Democratic National Committee and in the 2008 and 2012
Presidential election cycles, was General Counsel to Obama for America. He has
also served as co-counsel to the New Hampshire State Senate in the trial of The
Hon. Chief Justice David A. Brock (2000); general counsel to the Bill Bradley
for President Committee (1999 - 2000); and counsel to the Democratic Leader in
the trial of President William Jefferson Clinton (1999).

Mr. Benjamin L. Ginsberg, a partner at Patton Boggs LLP in Washington, D.C., represents numerous political parties, political campaigns, candidates, members of
Congress and state legislatures, PACs, Governors, corporations, trade associations, vendors, donors and individuals participating in the political process.

In both the 2004 and 2000 election cycles, Mr. Ginsberg served as national counsel to the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign; he played a central role in the 2000 Florida recount. In 2012 and 2008, he served as national counsel to the Romney for President campaigns. He also represents the campaigns and leadership PACs of numerous members of the Senate and House, as well as the national party committees. He serves as counsel to the Republican Governors Association and has wide experience on the state legislative level through Republican redistricting efforts.