Charles is one of the smartest and fairest people working in the field of election administration from the academic side. From his post today:
4. The lost opportunity. Most people who work in the field of election administration, academics and practitioners, know that the voter registration system is less than perfect and needs help. Democrats and Republicans alike have worked in recent years to address the vulnerabilities in this system. In some cases, they have come together to embrace programs like ERIC (the Electronic Registration Information Center) , in order to improve list maintenance. In other cases, they have supported online voter registration, which holds the promise of improving the accuracy of voter lists. The existence of a commission with a partisan framing will create barriers for non-partisan and dispassionate work in this area to proceed — not because it will necessarily politicize those already doing the hard, tedious work in this area, but because they (we) will yet again have to swat back unfounded rumors, leaving less time for the work that actually needs to get done.