WASHINGTON, D.C. — Democrats approved an amendment to H.R. 1 — the omnibus federal democracy reform bill — that seeks to shorten voter wait times to 30 minutes or less. Rep. Kathy Manning (D-N.C.) introduced the amendment, which asks the Election Assistance Commission to conduct a study on fair and equitable wait times. The amendment pays special attention to polling places in communities of color, ensuring equitable access to the ballot box. Democrats passed the amendment on Tuesday.
The goal of 30-minute wait times was established in 2014 by the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration, after a study that showed longer wait times usually indicated functionality or administrative problems at a polling location. You can read Democracy Docket founder Marc Elias’ proposal for how to achieve shorter wait times here. H.R. 1 is expected to be voted on, with this amendment included, later today.