Arkansas Put On Notice For Failing to Follow Voter Registration Law
Today, Project Vote, along with Demos and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law put Arkansas on notice for failing to offer the state’s low-income citizens the opportunity to register to vote.
In a pre-litigation notice letter to Secretary of State Mark Martin, the groups urged the chief of elections to follow the law by providing every public assistance client the chance to register to vote when applying for benefits, renewing benefits, or changing their address.
“Our investigation demonstrates that Arkansas is systematically failing to provide the voter registration services mandated by the [National Voter Registration Act] at its public assistance offices,” the letter stated. “Furthermore, the lack of compliance is also strongly suggested by the data Arkansas submitted to the United States Election Assistance Commission (EAC) regarding the number of registration applications submitted at Arkansas public assistance agencies.”
The group discovered that voter registrations from Arkansas public assistance agencies has declined by 86% since 1995. However, “the decrease in voter registration applications does not reflect any reduction in public assistance caseloads or any lack of low-income residents in need of voter registration,” according to the letter.
“It is clear that Arkansas has been violating the NVRA for years, and neglecting tens of thousands of low-income residents as a result,” said Sarah Brannon, Director of the Public Agency Voter Registration Project at Project Vote in the press release. “Public agency registration reaches citizens who are unlikely to register through other means, so, in this important election year, it is vital that Arkansas is complying with the law.” READ MORE.