While the media focused on Bernie Sanders' endorsement of Hillary Clinton yesterday, Hillary made a speech following Sen. Sanders' endorsement that contained calls for liberal election and campaign finance "reform." This is a familiar refrain from the Democrats this year, but Hillary's speech had some new points. The "reforms" are in line with the draft of the "most progressive platform in the history of party" released by the Democrats earlier this week.
Hillary's "Reform" - Everyone has to disclose all donors
Campaign finance reform is a subject to which liberals and Democrats criticize the current laws while exploiting loopholes in the system they claim to deride. The campaign finance laws are already so complicated that national campaigns with full-time staff, attorneys, accountants, and compliance personnel struggle to comply. Requiring the disclosure of additional donors would not only violate those donors' constitutional rights but also pose immense practical challenges for campaigns and non-profits.
Hillary's "Reform" - Automatic voter registration for everyone when they turn 18
Hillary's proposal goes far beyond the mandatory voter registration systems that are being implemented in several states across the country. Those systems are dangerous enough, but Hillary's proposal goes beyond registering people who interact with the DMV to automatically registering everyone when they turn 18. While she did not go into details, her proposal appears to be mandatory, universal voter registration, not the systems currently being implemented that at least have underused opt-out mechanisms.
Hillary's "Reform" - 20 days of in-person voting in every state
This is where Hillary's speech covered some new ground. Universal donor disclosure and universal mandatory registration are frequently discussed by today's radically liberal Democrat leaders. 20 days of in-person early voting would be an enormous expense and procedural hassle for the states that would have to implement it, and very few states already have such a long period of early voting in place (including none of Hillary's "home" states of Arkansas, Illinois, and New York). Early voting does not increase turnout, can actually harm voters, and increases the risk of voter fraud.
Hillary's "Reform" - No
one waits more than 30 minutes to cast a ballot
Short lines at the polls are a good goal, one that was a focus of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration and for which hard-working local election officials strive, but the federal government cannot simply dictate that no person must wait more than 30 minutes to cast a ballot. Local election officials allocate scarce resources and personnel based on expected turnout, but they can not perfectly anticipate the innumerable things that could go wrong on election day, causing people to wait a long time to vote. Long lines at the polling place are unfortunate and all local election officials should, and do, strive to shorten them, but Hillary ignores all the considerations and efforts of those officials when she unrealistically declares that no one should wait more than 30 minutes to vote.