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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

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SCHULTZ: So let`s turn tonight to California Senator Barbara Boxer. Senator,
great to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time.

When do you do election reform? Well, I think when there`s not an election going on and people are paying attention. I want to thank you for doing this. This has been a story that we have spent countless hours on, leading up to the election.

But how do you see the federal government setting standards? What does the LINE Act do for states like Ohio and Florida, where there have been problems?

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, first, thank you for all the work you`ve done on this. I`ll tell you, my heart sank when I saw those lines, because I thought back to the `04 election in Ohio. And I don`t know if you know this, but I actually stalled the electoral college vote, because I was so incensed when I learned that in minority precincts in Ohio, people waited for 12 hours to vote and many gave up. It was pouring down rain.

This is really disenfranchisement. So in the Constitution, it says that when it comes to national elections, the Congress has the perfect right to get involved in setting standards. I`m proud that the states are going to do it. Good for them. I`m happy they`re ready to fix it. But they have to work with us. And I hope the LINE Act passes. Now, just in case it`s obstructed or there may be a filibuster or two around it, I`ve written a letter to Eric Holder, our attorney general, saying that I think when you have to stand in line for, as you pointed out, in this election, up to seven hours -- and I spoke to people in Florida who were on the line after Mitt Romney had conceded, and they just stood on the line to make sure that Florida went for our president -- you`ve got a real serious problem.

So what our -- what we`re doing is we`re also asking the attorney general to go into those areas, those states, those counties, those cities that had exceptional problems and work with them on a remedial plan that can go into place right away.

SCHULTZ: Senator, who would be against standards to make sure people vote?

BOXER: Ed, I don`t know anymore. Who would be in favor of going off a fiscal cliff to protect the billionaires? What can I tell you? We are living in a strange and beautiful country. But I don`t know who could be against this. But we`ll see how this goes with this law.

SCHULTZ: Now, this would put --

BOXER: Yeah?

SCHULTZ: This would put more machines in places and more personnel in
places to alleviate the problems of long lines? This would be federally resourced and there would be more oversight, federally, on this?

BOXER: What it would do is it would set national standards. We hope that the commission would say, working with the attorney general, that it`s unreasonable to stand on line for more than an hour. And therefore, here are the number of machines you have to get, the number of people you need to put in place, and we`ll work, state by state, to make sure that this happens.

You know, early voting will take care of a lot of this. In California, we`re a huge state. We don`t have a lot of problems, because so many people vote early, and by absentee. And as you know, that`s a whole other issue. And that is part of this LINE Act as well. Because we don`t need to spend a lot of money on machines if people vote early. It lessens, you know, the flow on election day.

SCHULTZ: But there`s such an emphasis on turnout. There`s more and more people voting all the time. And we`ve got to be able to accommodate it.

BOXER: Without a doubt.

SCHULTZ: Senator, great work. I`ll follow up on this. I`m going to keep track of what Republicans are against it, but of course the chances are it`s probably going to get filibustered again.

BOXER: Let`s see.

MORGAN: Senator Barbara Boxer, thanks for your time tonight. Appreciate it.


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