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New EAC Report Shows Increased Voter Registration Among Low-Income Americans E-mail
NVRA Enforcement Efforts Deliver Results, According To New Analysis

July 13, 2011

NEW YORK—A newly released review of a June 27 report by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) shows that voter registration application rates at state public assistance agencies have risen sharply following National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) enforcement actions by advocacy groups Demos, Project Vote, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and others. In contrast, the overwhelming majority of states not targeted have continued to see a long decline in registration of lower-income residents.

The EAC report covers voter registration that occurred between the November 2008 and November 2010 elections.

"The new data underscore the effectiveness of enforcement in giving low income Americans a voice in the democratic process," said Lisa Danetz, Senior Counsel at Demos and co-lead counsel in a settled lawsuit against Ohio. "For example, Ohio topped the EAC list for voter registration at public assistance offices.  As a result of our lawsuit, the state institutionalized procedures to offer voter registration. Those procedures will ensure that voter registration does not fall off the radar screen.” 

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Civil Rights Groups Ask Justice Department to Block Discriminatory Fla. Law E-mail
Project Vote has joined the ACLU Voting Rights Project and the Florida ACLU in asking the Department of Justice to block a recently enacted discriminatory Florida election law. In a separate letter, the Florida NAACP, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and others also submitted comments to the Justice Department. 
 
In a letter to the Justice Department, the groups request the denial of preclearance to the law because it "will cause retrogression in minority voting strength" in violation of the Voting Rights Act. Among the issues are discrimination "against black voters by reducing the number of early voting days from 14 to eight," the Associated Press reports. "They also object to a provision making it more difficult for groups such as the League of Women Voters and Boy Scouts to conduct voter registration drives." 
 
Five Florida counties are among many jurisdictions around the country that are required to get federal “preclearance” before implementing election laws under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended. 
 
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Voting Rights Groups Sue Georgia for Neglecting Voting Rights of Low-Income Residents E-mail

Lawsuit filed today to force state public assistance offices to comply with the National Voter Registration Act

June 6, 2011                                                                        

ATLANTA, GA. –A coalition of voting rights groups filed suit today against Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) Clyde J. Reese III to remedy the State of Georgia’s failure to provide voter registration services at state public assistance offices, as required by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA).

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP (Georgia NAACP) and the Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda (Peoples’ Agenda). The plaintiffs are represented by lawyers from Project Vote, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Dēmos, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the NAACP, and the law firm Dechert LLP.

“The State of Georgia has been ignoring its responsibilities under the NVRA for too many years,” said Nicole Zeitler, director of the Public Agency Voter Registration program at Project Vote. “The result is that thousands of low-income Georgians have been denied the opportunity to register to vote.”

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