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Apr 11 / Keir Lamont

Voter Registration Law Helps Close Disparities in Voter Turnout

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Project Vote, partners and clients in New Orleans in 2012.

One of Project Vote’s core approaches to pursuing the empowerment of marginalized and underrepresented voters is through its Public Agency Registration Project. In 1993 Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Section 7 of the NVRA mandates that state public assistance agencies such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program offer voter registration opportunities when a client applies for benefits, renews benefits, or submits a change of address. The NVRA was enacted with the goal of strengthening participation among historically underrepresented populations and Section 7 is especially important because it was designed to provide many low-income Americans with a convenient avenue to political participation. Project Vote works with state agencies and, when necessary, initiates legal action in order to ensure compliance with the NVRA.

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Apr 9 / Project Vote

Voting Rights Proposals Could Affect 2016 Elections

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New report shows strong interest in making voting easier, but little progress

WASHINGTON, DC — Since January, lawmakers on the state and federal levels have introduced over 180 bills that would change state and federal voting laws.

“Three months into 2015, the battle for the 2016 election is already being fought in legislatures across the country,” said Michael Slater, executive director of the voting rights nonprofit Project Vote.

According to a new report released today by Project Vote, we have seen an increase in efforts to make voting easier and more convenient in the wake of last year’s 72-year low in voter turnout. However, with newly emboldened partisans in office and a major election a year and a half away, it’s hard to say how far these reform efforts are likely to go.

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Apr 8 / Jennifer Jacquot-DeVries

The Promise of Democracy

Photo: Kate Bass/Project Vote

Every now and again, we find hard evidence that voter turnout really, truly matters, that a community in turmoil can find a collective voice and make change.

In an April 7, 2015 city council election, voters in Ferguson, Missouri—a community shaken and thrust into the national spotlight last August when 18 year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer—came out in record-breaking numbers to add two more African-Americans to the six member city council. Now, in this majority Black community, the voters have elected a city council that is beginning to better reflect their community.

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Apr 1 / Project Vote

New Organizing Institute and Project Vote Announce New Home for DECC

New Organizing Institute (NOI) and Project Vote are pleased to announce that the Data Entry Consolidation Center (DECC) will now be housed at Project Vote.

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Mar 31 / Keir Lamont

Youth Preregistration Bill Passes in Utah

Photo: KOMUnews via Creative Commons

On March 24, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed H.B. 340 (Voter Preregistration Amendments) into law. This legislation provides that citizens who are aged 16 or 17 and have resided in Utah for at least 30 days shall have the opportunity to preregister to vote so as to become automatically registered upon their eighteenth birthday. The Voter Preregistration Amendments passed by unanimous margins of 71-0 in the Utah House and 29-0 in the Utah Senate. Speaking from the House floor, bill sponsor Jon Cox (R-58) argued that “we know voter participation rates are very low among [younger voters] but those who do participate do so throughout their lifetime. If voter participation is something that we want to encourage…I do believe [this bill] can help.”

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