Bipartisan commission to examine national voting problems

President Obama on Tuesday announced the creation of a nonpartisan commission to examine problems endured at the polls in 2012, to be led by staffers from Obama's and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's campaigns.

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The Presidential Commission on Election Administration will address the myriad troubles that plagued voters in last year's election, when thousands of Americans faced long lines on Election Day, which voting rights advocates say drove some away.

The commission will be led by former Obama campaign general counsel Bob Bauer and Romney campaign national counsel Ben Ginsberg. 

In his address, Obama called the right to vote "our most fundamental right as citizens" and said this aim is to "improve the voting experience in America."

"We must all do our part to make sure our God-given rights are protected here at home. That includes one of the most fundamental rights as a citizen: the right to vote. When any American — no matter where they live or what their party — are denied that right because they can’t afford to wait for five or six or seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals," he said.

The commission is tasked with examining the causes of and offering solutions to long lines at the polls, and improving the experience of voters that face unique obstacles to casting their ballots, like members of the military, citizens overseas, disabled voters and the elderly.

It will also identify best-practices for polling places. 

The ultimate effect of long lines at polling places on the overall vote in 2012 is unclear, but one study estimated they discouraged nearly 50,000 voters in Florida alone from voting.