Today Project Vote is releasing a new, comprehensive report on how paperless technologies can help states better implement the voter registration requirements of the National Voter Registration Act. In Voter Registration Modernization and the NVRA, consultant Steven Rosenfeld examines how, by taking advantage of current technologies, and by applying best practices to all NVRA agencies—particularly the long under-performing public assistance agencies—states will find new and better ways to implement this landmark law and fulfill its historic promise.
Among other important provisions, the NVRA requires voter registration services to be offered at various state agencies where diverse sectors of society—rich and poor, drivers and people without cars—regularly interact with government. Since implementation in 1995, the NVRA has helped tens of millions of Americans to register to vote, but some envisioned registration pathways—particularly at state public assistance agencies—have not fully or effectively implemented the law.
As Rosenfeld explains, "The NVRA was written in a paper-based era, and so is increasingly out
of step with 21st century office environments." One solution to compliance problems lies in implementing paperless information technology
tools and systems that can make the process better and easier for state
agency employees, election officials, and the public. Several states have already implemented these solutions at motor vehicle offices, the report explains, and these states have seen significant cost savings, reduction of administrative burdens, and increased efficiency and accuracy.
Applying these technologies can help transform election administration for officials and improve the process for voters. Participation will increase, Rosenfeld says, "advancing the goals of the NVRA, fulfilling the promise of the civil rights movement, and advancing American democracy."
To download this new report, click here.
Voter Registration will be offered at MVD Offices following
of lawsuit by coalition of voting rights groups
JULY 7, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, NM -- Tens of thousands of New Mexico residents
who visit state motor vehicle offices will be able to register to vote or
update their voter registration information, thanks to a settlement agreement
reached last week in a lawsuit to bring the state’s Motor Vehicle Division into
compliance with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993. The
agreement resolves a lawsuit brought against state officials by voting rights
groups Project Vote, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Dēmos,
as well as by the law firms of Freedman Boyd Hollander Goldberg & Ives, DLA
Piper LLP (US), and Advocates for Justice and Reform Now, PC.
Filed in July 2009, the lawsuit charged that New Mexico was
failing to comply with the NVRA, a federal civil rights law that requires motor
vehicle offices and public assistance agencies to offer voter registration
services to their clients. Defendants named in the suit include New Mexico’s
Secretary of State, Mary Herrera, and officials from the New Mexico Motor Vehicle
Division (MVD), the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, and the New
Mexico Human Services Department.
“The NVRA was enacted to ensure that all citizens have an
equal opportunity to register to vote,” said Nicole Kovite, director of the Public
Agency Voter Registration Project at Project Vote. “By ignoring this vital law,
New Mexico was denying this right to thousands of its residents every year.”
As part of Project Vote’s ongoing effort to keep you
informed about the changing landscape of election legislation, we are pleased
to provide the latest installment in our Election Legislation 2010:
Threats and Opportunities Assessment series. All year Project
Vote’s Communications Manager Erin Ferns Lee has been monitoring election
legislation in all 50 states and the U.S. Congress. In this new, fully updated memo she assesses both the threats and opportunities represented by
emerging election reforms that have been enacted or are gaining significant support
in legislatures and Congress, and also assesses the viability of pending bills. To download the memo click here.
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