I started out as a 16 year old registering people to vote.
Voting is the foundational act that breathes life into the principle of the consent of the governed.
And when people in power can stay in power they do very little to tinker with the apparatus that put them in power.
When public access to voting is impaired or when public confidence in voting is diluted, democracy suffers and our freedom is less secure.
My sense was that most of the elected officials in Washington - in their heart of hearts - really believe that the system can't be too bad because it produced them.
I was the Secretary of State of New Jersey in November 2000. I paid careful attention to the challenges that stemmed from inadequate voting systems in various places.
We have no basis for having a recall of any particular type of voting equipment because there are no standards. And when we do have standards, even these standards are required to be voluntary.
When Congress passed the Help America Vote Act in 2002, I was thrilled to learn that the federal government would offer resources to all states to assist them in enhancing the voting process in America.
It's an embarrassment that we don't have a broad enough consensus among political leaders that true reform should take place. I could count the members of Congress on one hand that took these issues seriously.
The Election Assistance Commission represents a major, unprecedented commitment from the federal government to sustained freedom and vibrant democracy. I am humbled by the prospect of being one its charter members.