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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Changes of Address and the National Voter Registration Act

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Under the NVRA, when you change your address at the DMV, it's supposed to update your voter registration as well. Too many states are failing to comply with this law. This new report summarizes the scope of the problem, and offers solutions. Read more

Information for NC Voters Who Attempted to Register at DMVs

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Information on the provisional ballot process for North Carolina voters who attempted to register through the DMV but find they are not on the voter rolls. Read more

Automatic Voter Registration: Best Practices

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A comprehensive proposal for incorporating automatic voter registration (AVR) within the existing requirements of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Read more

Letter to NC State Board of Elections on DMV Compliance

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Notice letter to Kim Strach, Executive Director of North Carolina State Board of Elections, concerning NVRA violations by motor vehicle departments. Read more

Letter to New Mexico Secretary of State Duran on Compliance with the NVRA

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On October 30, 2014, Project Vote, Demos and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law submitted a letter regarding “Compliance with the National Voter Registration Act” to New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna J. Duran. Read more

Letter to Motor Vehicles Division of New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Dept.

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Letter to New Mexico's MVD concerning their obligations under the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Read more

Letter to the Department of Justice on the Preclearance Process

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A coalition of civil rights groups submitted a letter to the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division regarding its administration of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Read more

Policy Brief: Voter Registration Modernization and the NVRA

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This policy brief documents various problems with voter registration and outlines pragmatic solutions states can adopt to make registering to vote simple, efficient and transparent. Read more

The National Voter Registration Act: Case Summaries

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This analysis of litigation under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 covers key issues including: (1) the constitutionality of the NVRA; (2) public agency registration under Section 7; (3) voter list maintenance under Section 8; (4) designation of certain offices as mandatory agencies under Section 7; (5) voter registration process; and (6) restrictions on third-party registration. Read more

A Review of Academic Literature on the Effectiveness of the National Voter Registration Act

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A 2009 review of academic literature on the effectiveness of the National Voter Registration Act. Read more