'FAST' Voting Act Seeks to Reduce Lines on Election Day
Lynchburg, VA - With election day well behind us, officials have been studying what went right, and what went wrong during the campaign season.
Democratic Senator Mark Warner, joined with Delaware Senator Chris Coons, to sponsor a bill that would make voting faster and more accessible.
Some local voters say measures like early voting would ensure everyone has a chance to cast their ballot.
Others, say that special Tuesday in November is called Election Day for a reason.
More than 120-million people headed to the polls this year to cast their vote for President of the United States. However, some waited four, even five hours to cast their ballot.
"All over lines were long," said Henry Fleming who waited over an hour in line on Election Day.
Fleming is a deacon at Diamond Hill Baptist Church. He says they registered record numbers of new voters this year. He also says long lines, like he experienced, may have prevented some from voting.
It's important to have everybody vote, because the fact that is how you voice your opinion when you vote," said Fleming.
The Fair, Accurate, Secure, and Timely Voting Act, or "FAST Voting Act" proposed by Senator Mark Warner, says it will create a competitive grant program to encourage states to aggressively pursue election reforms.
A main component of the bill is to provide early voting for at least nine days before an election.
Some voters say, not so fast.
"I'm proud to unite with my fellow Americans and come together for one day, I mean that's not too much to ask, one day and support voting for our country," said Rebekah Jarman, who also waited in line to cast her vote.
She even woke up 30 minutes early to get a good spot in line. She says the experience of voting, on election day, shouldn't be tampered with.
"I felt pride when I was in that line, looking at the people around me, thinking that we're so different but yet we're all coming together for this one purpose," said Jarman.
Other ways the "FAST" Act seeks to speed up voting is to make sure assistance is provided to voters who do not speak English as a primary language, and to those with disabilities.
Local elected officials also weighed in on the issue and their opinions really fall along party lines.
Most Republicans agree something needs to be done to shorten wait times, but say early voting isn't the answer.
Most local Democrats are, for the most part, in support of the bill.