News Release

Critiques of Today’s Carter-Baker Election Commission Report

SPENCER OVERTON
Overton serves on the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform, which just released its final report. He said today: “I dissent from the voter ID provisions of the report. Unfortunately, the Commission rejected my 597-word dissent and allowed me only 250 words. (This limitation on dissent was first announced at our final meeting.) I believe that the issues deserve more discussion.

“The Commission’s ‘Real ID’ recommendation is more restrictive than the photo ID proposal rejected by the Carter-Ford Commission in 2001, and more extreme than any ID requirement adopted in any state to date. The Commission’s proposal is so excessive that it would prevent eligible voters from proving their identity with even a valid U.S. passport or a U.S. military photo ID card.” Overton has posted his concerns with the Commission’s voter ID recommendations and the shortcomings of the Commission’s deliberative process at the website.

Overton, a professor at the George Washington University Law School specializing in election law, is author of the forthcoming book Stealing Democracy: The New Politics of Voter Suppression.
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ROB RICHIE
Richie is the executive director of the group FairVote and co-author of the book Whose Vote Counts? He said today: “The Commission report has a few sensible recommendations, but its chief failure is to accept the United States’ position far outside international norms in standards for free and fair elections. Consider that the report doesn’t call for direct election of the president despite the Electoral College’s malfunction in 2000 and the fact that the candidates focus on only a handful of battleground states. It is silent on establishing a constitutional right to vote despite the obvious adverse impact of more than 13,000 jurisdictions having the power to make independent decisions about running federal elections. It neglects instant runoff voting despite recent high-profile elections with non-majority winners and finger-pointing about ‘spoilers.’ It overlooks nonpartisan redistricting and proportional voting systems as the necessary means to take on the shocking lack of voter choice and distortions in representation in our legislative elections. It accepts that the citizens of the District of Columbia have no voice in Congress.”
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MARK CRISPIN MILLER
Miller is professor of media studies at New York University and author of the recent article in Harper’s Magazine “None Dare Call It Stolen: Ohio, the Election, and America’s Servile Press.” He is also author of the forthcoming book Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election and Why They Will Do It in 2008 (Unless We Stop Them).
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167