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Here Are The People President Obama Hopes Will Repair American Elections

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, May 21 2013

The Presidential Commission on Election Administration established by President Obama after problematic 2012 elections now has a web presence at SupporttheVoter.gov.

Obama established the commission by executive order on March 28 "to identify best practices in election administration and to make recommendations to improve the voting experience."

The co-chairs of the commission are Robert Bauer, a general counsel for the Obama campaign, and Benjamin Ginsberg, a national counsel to the Romney campaign.

In addition, Obama has also appointed eight other members to the commission, as the White House announced in a press release today:

-- Brian Britton, vice president of Global Park Operations and Initiatives at Walt Disney World Company, and previously vice president of Labor Operations, Operations Strategy and Operations Support at the company.

-- Joe Echevarria, CEO of Deloitte LLP, where he was previously U.S. Managing Partner for Operations.

-- Trey Grayson, director of the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He previously served as Secretary of State for Kentucky, elected in 2003 and reelected in 2007.

-- Larry Lomax, Clark County Registrar in Nevada, and the state's representative to the Election Assistance Commission’s Standards Board. He also served on a Pew Foundation Committee focused on modernizing voter registration.

-- Michele Coleman Mayes, vice president, general counsel, and secretary for the New York Public Library, and previously an executive at Allstate and Pitney Bowes.

-- Ann McGeehan, assistant general counsel of the Texas County and District Retirement System. She previously served 22 years in the Elections Division of the Texas Secretary of State’s Office, is a past president of the National Association of State Election Directors, a former member of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission Standards Board and Technical Guidelines Development Committee, and also served on an advisory group to the Pew Center on the States’ Election Initiative.

-- Tammy Patrick, federal compliance officer for the Maricopa County Elections Department in Arizona. Since this year, she has been a voting member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ working group on developing standards for a universal format for election results reporting. According to the website, she is also a representative on the Mailer’s Technical Advisory Committee to the U.S. Post Office and serves as the co-chair of the Postal Task Force for the Election Center, has previously served as a member of the Election Assistance Commission’s working group on Language Assistance for Unwritten Language, as an organizer of the 2007 Native American Voter Outreach Summit, and as a member of the Election Center’s National Task Force on Education and Training. She recently spoke to techPresident about a study on better designing local official election websites.

-- Christopher Thomas, director of elections in the Michigan Department of State. He is a founding member of the National Association of State Election Directors, of which he currently serves as President, and has served on the Board of Advisors to the Election Assistance Commission since 2005.

According to a press release from the commission posted by Rick Hasen, election law blogger and professor of Law and Political Science at UC Irvine, the commission plans to submit a final report to President Obama six months after its first public meeting, which is expected to take place in Washington D.C. in June. That press release also notes that the members "are experts in election administration, policy and procedures, or leaders from customer service-oriented businesses and industry."

Nathaniel Persily, Beekman Professor of Law and Political Science at Columbia Law School and Professor of Law at Stanford Law School as of July 1, will serve as Senior Research Director for the commission, according to that press release. According to his Columbia biography, he created DrawCongress.org, a website serving as a repository for nonpartisan congressional redistricting plans for all 50 states that features maps drawn by students in his "Redistricting and Gerrymandering" course.

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