In first half of 2010, Voter Applications Skyrocket at State Public Assistance Offices
AUGUST 5, 2010
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- More than 100,000 low-income Ohio residents have applied to register to vote at state Department of Job and Family Service (ODJFS) offices in the first six months of 2010, following a federal court settlement to bring the state agency into compliance with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA).
Statewide, 101,604 voter registration applications--roughly two-thirds of them from women--were submitted by ODJFS clients between January 1, 2010 and June 30, 2010, according to agency records. This surge in applications followed the settlement of a 2006 lawsuit brought by voting rights groups--including Project Vote, Demos, and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law--to bring the state into compliance with the NVRA, which requires public assistance offices to provide voter registration services.
The lawsuit was settled in November 2009. During the first six months of 2010, ODJFS offices averaged 17,000 registration applications per month. The volume of voter applications is nearly a ten-fold increase compared to the applications collected prior to the lawsuit, when Ohio agencies were registering only 1,775 per month.
Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner praised ODJFS's efforts for low-income voters.
As part of our continuing
effort to monitor and improve election administration issues in individual
states, today Project Vote is pleased to release a detailed new memo, Voting
in Virginia: How the System Works and How it Can Be Improved, by Dan
Charlton. This comprehensive
memorandum takes a look at how well election policies and procedures in the
Commonwealth of Virginia do—and don’t—work to increase participation in the
electoral process, and provides recommendations for how Virginia can
further remove barriers and increase access to voter registration and voting. Download this new memo here.
our 2010 Issues
in Election Administration series, Project Vote is pleased to release our
latest policy paper, Restricting
Voter Registration Drives.
voter registration drives serve a vital function in American democracy. In recent years, however—and
particularly after the tremendous success of registration efforts leading up to
the 2008 election—there has been a legislative backlash in a number of states
that have instituted laws and requirements designed to significantly restrict
voter registration drives.
Vote’s new policy paper, Restricting
Voter Registration Drives, examines these restrictions, discussing the
legal issues and ramifications using examples from several states. The paper offers
reasonable recommendations for how state and local election officials can work
together with civic organizations, to ensure reasonable regulation, without
unfairly impeding the vital role community-based voter registration drives play
Click here to download Restricting
Voter Registration Drives.
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