WHEREAS less than sixty-five percent of the United States population of voting age cast ballots for Presidential electors in 1960; and
WHEREAS popular participation in Government through elections is essential to a democratic form of Government; and
WHEREAS the causes of nonvoting are not fully understood and more effective corrective action will be possible on the basis of a better understanding of the causes of the failure of many citizens to register and vote:
NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, it is ordered as follows:
SECTION 1. (a). There is hereby established the President's Commission on Registration and Voting Participation (hereinafter referred to as the Commission).
(b) The Commission shall be composed of not more than eleven members, each of whom shall be appointed by the President. One of the members of the Commission shall be designated by the President as the Chairman thereof.
SEC. 2. The Commission shall:
(a) Study the reasons for the failure of many citizens to register and vote in elections for selection of Members of Congress, the President, and Vice President including:
(1) Laws which restrict registration and voting on the basis of residence, economic status, or other reasons,
(2) Procedures for registration of voters,
(3) Absentee voting provisions, and
(4) Causes of nonvoting by persons who are otherwise qualified to vote.
(b) Prepare and present to the President recommendations for increasing citizen participation in Government through the exercise of the right to vote.
SEC. 3. The Commission shall not consider matters placed under the jurisdiction of the Commission on Civil Rights by the Civil Rights Act of 1957 (71 Stat. 634), as amended.
SEC. 4. All who may be in a position to do so are requested to furnish the Commission information pertinent to its work and otherwise to facilitate the Commission's work.
SEC. 5. Each member of the Commission shall receive compensation of $75 for each day such member is engaged upon the work of the Commission, except that any member who then receives other compensation from the United States shall serve as such member without compensation under this order. The Commission is authorized to appoint such personnel as may be necessary to assist the Commission in connection with the performance of its functions without regard to the civil service and classification laws, but no such personnel shall receive compensation at a rate in excess of $17,500 per annum. The Commission is authorized to obtain services in accordance with the provisions of Section 15 of the Act of August 2, 1946 (5 U.S.C. 55a), at rates not in excess of $75 per diem for individuals.
SEC. 6. The compensation of the members and personnel of the Commission, lawful allowances therefor, and any other necessary expenses arising in connection with the work of the Commission shall be paid from the appropriation appearing under the heading "Special Projects" in title III of the Treasury-Post Office Departments and Executive Office Appropriation Act, 1963, 76 Stat. 310, and such appropriation as may be provided for the same purposes for the fiscal year 1964. Such payments shall be made without regard to the provisions of Section 3681 of the Revised Statutes and Section 9 of the Act of March 4, 1909, 35 Stat. 1027 (31 U.S.C. 672 and 673).
SEC. 7. The General Services Administration is hereby designated as the agency which shall provide administrative services for the Commission on a reimbursable basis.
SEC. 8. The Commission in its discretion may transmit to the President such preliminary or interim report or reports as it may deem appropriate. It shall transmit its principal study and recommendations to the President not later than November 30, 1963, together with such supporting materials as it deems appropriate. The Commission shall terminate not later than sixty days after the submission of its principal report to the President.
JOHN F. KENNEDY
THE WHITE HOUSE,
March 30, 1963