WASHINGTON, D.C. (WAVY) - Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced legislation Thursday that is meant to make voting faster and easier in future elections.
The Fair, Accurate, Secure and Timely (FAST) Voting Act of 2012 would provide incentives through grants for states willing to pursue election reforms.
The legislation comes a little more than a week after Election Day 2012, when thousands of people in Hampton Roads waited for upward of three, four or even five hours in long lines.
According to Sen. Warner's office, the FAST Act would sponsor the following nine ways to improve access to polls:
- Same-day registration
- Early voting at least nine or 10 days before an election
- Absentee voting and no-excuse absentee voting
- Voting assistance to non-native English speakers
- Voting assistance to those with disabilities and impairments
- Access to voting for members of armed services
- Formal training of election officials on all levels
- Reducing waiting lines
- Creating preliminary plans in case of natural or any other kind of disaster
"The extremely long lines and wait times that many Virginia voters experienced at the polls last week were completely unacceptable," Sen. Warner said. "The FAST Voting Act addresses this issue in a responsible way: it does not impose new mandates, and authorizes additional resources for those states which step-up with commonsense reforms to make voting faster and accessible to more voters. I encourage Virginia's elected leaders to embrace this opportunity to improve access for Virginia voters, who should not have to wait in line for hours to exercise their right to cast a ballot."
The bill is being co-sponsored by Delaware Senator Chris Coons.
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