The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 14, 2013

Proposed voting commission draws fire from both sides


"Obama's commission may just be a stalking horse to implement liberals' latest partisan fantasies of automatic and election day voter registration — so-called reforms that will stifle real improvements and endanger the integrity of our elections," he wrote.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., said in an interview with that Obama was playing political games.

"When the president talks about voting, he is focused on partisan advantage for the Democratic Party," Cruz said. "His Justice Department tragically has been the most partisan Justice Department this country has seen. They have repeatedly fought common-sense voter integrity policies like voter ID that serve, as the U.S. Supreme Court has said, to protect and ensure the integrity of our democratic system."

Obama first pushed the issue in his election-night victory speech, and he touched on it again in his inaugural address last month. And Tuesday night during his State of the Union address, he said: "When any Americans — no matter where they live or what their party — are denied that right simply because they can't wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals. That's why, tonight, I'm announcing a nonpartisan commission to improve the voting experience in America."

Obama highlighted the story of Desiline Victor, a 102-year-old Florida resident who waited in line for three hours to cast her ballot at her local library in North Miami.

Heading the commission will be the oddest of odd couples — Obama's former White House Counsel, Bob Bauer, and Ben Ginsberg, a top lawyer for the Republican Party who helped lead the 2000 recount efforts in Florida and served as Mitt Romney's lawyer during his White House run.

"There are plenty of Republicans who are suspicious of federal efforts in this area, but I'm glad Ben decided to do it," said Trevor Potter, who served as John McCain's general counsel in his two presidential bids. "Ben is not a miracle worker, but he has a good reputation and people will listen to the group. Assuming that both parties have the same interest of having the system work and voters being able to vote, then it shouldn't turn out to be as partisan as it would be in the middle of the election."

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