- - Thursday, January 30, 2014

Although it falls short of an optimal solution, I endorse the findings of the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration, which has proposed numerous means to make voting easier, including expanding online registration, convenient early voting, improved technology and ensuring proper training and education for poll workers.

We have witnessed the phenomenon of individuals having to wait in line for an hour or more to cast their ballots, which is an absurdity. I have voted in every election since 1974, and I have never had to wait more than a few minutes to participate. No one should be subjected to long lines to vote, no matter where they reside.

One would think that reasonable and sensible proposals to make the system better would receive widespread acclaim and would be voted into law, but Congress (particularly this Congress) is not known for good sense or fair play. Thus, the prospects of improving an anachronistic system are very much in doubt.

The commission has recommended some excellent first steps to improve voting. The best and easiest solutions, though, would be to allow ballots to be cast electronically or via postal mail with appropriate safeguards.

If we eliminated the 19th-century-style polling place — the most expensive and complex means of voting, which wastes the time of and inconveniences tens of millions of people each election — the thorny and vexing issue of voter identification would go away, eliminating one of the many issues that tears the American people apart.

OREN M SPIEGLER

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.