One of those guys, Ben Ginsberg, has disgraced himself with various voting shenanigans, including the 2000 Florida recount, and was fired from the Bush-Cheney campaign after his work for the John Kerry-smearing Swift Boat organization. The other co-chair is Bob Bauer, who has served both as White House general counsel and general counsel for the Obama for America campaign team. He fought to restore early voting in Ohio in 2012.
Yet you'd think there was only the mildest dissent over the commission proposal based on the reporting of Jeff Zeleny at The New York Times.
In fact, opposition to the Bauer-Ginsberg Commission and skepticism over its being able to accomplish much of anything is widespread. Even folks like Rick Hasen of the acclaimed ElectionLawBlog, who thinks the commission "is good news, and a step forward" doubts that it will have much "practical effect on fixing our broken election system."
Many Republican lawmakers oppose the commission, claim it violates the 10th Amendment because elections are the province of state governments.
Elizabeth MacNamara, president of the nation's venerable League of Women Voters, founded in 1920 six months before the Nineteenth Amendment gave women the right to vote nationwide, was especially critical:
"He is essentially kicking the can down the road by appointing a commission," MacNamara told HuffPost Live. "Every four years we go through this. Every four years we know that there are going to be long lines. So we are disappointed that rather than taking bold action, the president has decided to appoint a commission instead."Some of these can be accomplished by executive action, she said. Instead there will be five more commissioners appointed and at least six months of meetings and teleconferences.
[She said] that the League has put forward four priorities it would like to see the president address: 1) making sure voters have permanent and portable registration within their states; 2) establishing secure online voter registration; 3) setting standards for early voting; and 4) ensuring we have equitable distribution of polling places.
A lot of time and per diems could be saved if commissioners read and adopted the recommendations put together by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The committee's 144-page report: Our Broken Election System and How to Repair It covers all the relevant ground quite thoroughly.