Who Should Register Americans to Vote? Their Government
When the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) was passed in 1993, it was heralded as a watershed in voting rights law. It was popularly known as the “motor voter” law, because—in addition to other important provisions—the NVRA requires voter registration services to be provided through venues where citizens regularly interact with their government: motor vehicle offices, public assistance agencies, and other government outlets.
This expansion of voter registration opportunities was expected to usher in a new era of universal, or nearly universal, enfranchisement and political participation. And indeed, in the first two years of implementation, the NVRA contributed to one of the largest expansions of the voter rolls in American history.
In the 20 years since the law went into effect, however, it has become all too common for states to neglect or ignore the requirements of the NVRA. This means that millions of Americans—particularly low-income, minority, and disabled citizens who are already underrepresented in the electorate—have been illegally denied their federally-mandated opportunity to register to vote.
Project Vote and our partners—including Demos, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and other civil rights organizations—work to rectify this problem. Through advocacy, technical assistance, and—where necessary—litigation, we are ensuring that state agencies fulfill their responsibilities and help realize the full promise of the NVRA.
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In September 2006 Project Vote and partners filed a lawsuit against officials in the state of Ohio alleging widespread violations of Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Read more
Pre-litigation notice letter concerning Ohio's violations of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Read more
The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993 dramatically increased the opportunities for eligible Americans to become registered to vote in Federal elections. This document is a short summary of relevant sections, followed by a closer examination of some of the Act’s requirements. Read more