Following the national shame of 2012 when long lines at the polls on Election Day and during Early Voting (which was restricted by Republicans in a number of states) once again suppressed the vote and endangered American democracy, President Obama called for electoral reform as he declared victory on Election Night.
"I want to thank every American who participated in this election...Whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time," he said, adding: "By the way, we have to fix that."
During his second Inauguration speech, he repeated the message: "Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote."
At his State of the Union Address in 2013, he again re-iterated the call for reform --- citing the story of 102-year old Desiline Victor, an African-American Florida woman who was forced to wait in line for hours on end to cast her vote in 2012 --- before announcing his creation, by Executive Order, of a bi-partisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration. It would be headed up by both his own top election attorney, Robert Bauer, as well as Mitt Romney's lead election attorney and long-time GOP operative, Benjamin Ginsberg.
After six months of hearings and conferences around the country, that commission has now released its unanimous recommendations [PDF] for improving access to the voting booth and for other much-needed improvements for electoral administration.
While coming to bi-partisan consensus with a report on such a contentious topic is no small achievement in and of itself in this extraordinarily divisive environment, the Commission highlighted one fairly obvious point which will almost certainly disappoint the most partisan Republicans, but also, perhaps less obviously, some Democrats...