Jump-Starting “Motor Voter”
The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) became known as the “motor voter” law because Section 5 of the law designated motor vehicle offices as voter registration sites. For 20 years Americans have enjoyed the convenience of registering to vote, or updating their registrations, while conducting other business at the DMV.
The NVRA requires that DMVs take specific steps that will make registration extremely convenient for their customers, so that as many eligible Americans as possible will participate in elections. Yet many states DMVs don’t follow these rules. Often through omission rather than articulated policy, they relegate voter registration to a bottom-rung priority, for example, by failing to integrate it into new processes that become available due to technology. One result is that customers conducting online DMV transactions often miss out on the voter registration opportunities that the NVRA mandates they be given.
In short, “motor “voter” is stalling out in many states, and threatening to leave millions of Americans behind.
Project Vote is working with allies to enforce the “motor voter” law across the country, and ensure that states adapt this core voter registration portal to new technologies that have the potential to vastly expand the electorate.
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In December 2015, Project Vote and partners sued the state of North Carolina for widespread violations of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Read more