Motor Vehicle Agencies

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.

MVA-ImageThe 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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Civil Rights Groups Threaten to Sue New York Over Voting Rights Violations

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Asian-American and Latino civil rights groups are among those threatening to sue New York state over allegations that its Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) failed to send voter registration applications it received to local election boards. Read more

Groups say state highway safety agency violates voters’ rights

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Project Vote and partners put the state of Florida on notice for alleged violations of the federal "motor voter" law. Read more

New forms make it easier to register to vote in Montana

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The Montana Vehicle Division has revamped many of its forms to help make it easier to register to vote, amid pressure from voter rights groups who said the state was not doing enough to comply with the national Motor Voter law. Read more

Voting rights advocates: DMV is breaking the law by failing to register voters

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Voting rights advocates claim the state is violating a federal law enacted more than 20 years ago requiring the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles to register voters. Read more

Voting rights group threatens Nevada with possible DMV lawsuit

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Voting rights advocates said Monday they have sent a pre-litigation notice letter to Nevada officials, warning that the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles is failing to meet its federally mandated voter registration obligations. Read more

Groups claim bumps in road for ‘motor voter’ law

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Catherine M. Flanagan, senior election counsel with Project Vote, said, “We’re finding that the process is not working the way required under the act. People who try to register to vote when they conduct a driver’s license transaction are not being able to to register to vote.” Read more

Civil Rights Groups Sue North Carolina Over Voter Registration

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A coalition of civil rights groups sued North Carolina on Tuesday, alleging that the state is violating a federal law regarding voter registration. Read more

The Voting Law That’s Being Ignored

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A few weeks ago, a Massachusetts government agency you've probably never heard of settled a lawsuit over what kinds of forms it has to hand out to people who apply for welfare. That might sound dull, but it's the backdrop for a fight against growing political and economic inequality. Read more

California DMV target of a suit over voter registration

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Voting-rights advocates are threatening to sue California — which has one of the nation’s lowest voter-registration rates — unless the state starts complying with a 20-year-old federal law... Read more

California violates Motor Voter Act, activists say; lawsuit threatened

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Voting-rights advocates warned Thursday that they may sue California based on claims that the state is not complying with the so-called Motor Voter Act.... Read more