Project Vote’s Election Administration (EA) Program was created to respond to ongoing problems that restrict Americans' access to the democratic process. In 2014, Project Vote's team of experts is working through research, litigation, advocacy, and field efforts to ensure that voter registration is accessible, effective, and enduring.
Right now, across the country and in all three branches of government, partisan battles are being fought over voter registration policies, voter list maintenance procedures, ID and proof-of-citizenship requirements, and other vital election administration issues that will shape the electorate for 2014 and beyond. (To keep up with pending election legislation, subscribe to Project Vote's weekly Election Legislation Digest.)
Project Vote’s Election Administration Program is working to promote and protect policies that ensure that every eligible American can register, vote, and cast a ballot that counts.
- In 2014, Project Vote is working to protect voter registration drives and voters on Election Day:
Registering to vote is the gateway to American democracy, and the history of civil rights in this country is unimaginable without the role played by voter registration drives. In recent years, however, this legacy has come under increased attack as state after state has attempted to pass laws making it prohibitively difficult, risky, or expensive for any organization to conduct large-scale voter registration drives.
This year, Project Vote is continuing to challenge some of the worst voter registration laws in the country. We have won a lawsuit in Virginia to enforce the National Voter Registration Act’s voter file transparency requirements— which are important so that drives can determine whether applicants are being improperly rejected or removed.
Project Vote also is an active participant in the Election Protection coalition, working with our partners to protect and advocate for voters and gather crucial information during early voting and on Election Day. In recent years, Project Vote staff have served on national Election Protection Coalition hotline and on the ground in Florida, Virginia, and Missouri.
- In 2014, Project Vote is working to strike down or prevent the passage of harmful and discriminatory laws:
Project Vote’s EA Program, often working with voting rights allies, will challenge or mitigate laws and procedures that result in low-income Americans, people of color, and other underrepresented groups from being disenfranchised. We are working in states to challenge or mitigate voter ID requirements; to investigate list maintenance procedures that may violate federal law; and to bring litigation where necessary to enforce existing laws and protect the rights of voters.
In Florida, we recently won a victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals which held the state’s 2012 purge of alleged non-citizens close to the election to be illegal, vindicating the important role of the National Voter Registration Act in protecting eligible voters from last-minute purges of the voter rolls. We are monitoring several other states that may be in the process of following Florida’s lead. We intervened in a lawsuit filed by Kansas and Arizona officials who want to alter the national voter registration form to allow states to require proof-of-citizenship from voter registrants, and are now appealing the trial court’s order granting the states’ request. The states’ effort could have far-ranging implications for how states can create new hurdles to voting.
- In 2014, Project Vote is working to expand civic engagement by advocating for affirmative changes to election and voter registration policy and procedures:
In 2014, Project Vote is working with public policy organization Demos to build support for policies that represent achievable, sustainable gains in voter registration and voter access such as portable voter registration, same-day registration, online voter registration, and early voting. Currently, we are working with allies to draft, promote, and support good voting bills and advancements at the state and federal levels, to seek passage of beneficial legislation. Project Vote is also providing advice, analysis, and research to legislators, advocates, and nonpartisan state legislative task forces around the country to promote best practices and catalyze positive election reform.
Project Vote works towards systemic changes. Our goal is to lower the barriers that prevent underrepresented populations from registering, voting, and casting ballots that count, while working to ensure public policies and procedures that encourage full participation in elections. For more information on the Election Administration program, please contact Michael Slater, Executive Director.