Government Agency Registration

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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WA Governor Gregoire Signs Executive Order to Better Implement National Voter Registration Act

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On July 4, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire signed an executive order to better implement the federal National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), a move which should help thousands of low-income Washingtonians become registered voters. Read more

Justice Department’s Failure to Enforce National Voter Registration Act Underscored by New Report

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Late last week, the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) published its biennial report (PDF) to Congress on the impact of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA). Read more

Project Vote & Demos notify New Mexico of Voting Rights Law Violations

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New Mexico is failing to meet requirements of a federal voting rights law, according to a letter sent by Project Vote and Dēmos to Secretary of State Mary Hererra on behalf of Project Vote and the New Mexico chapter of the community organization ACORN. Read more

Harkless v. Brunner (Ohio)

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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

Harkless v. Brunner: Notice Letter

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Pre-litigation notice letter concerning Ohio's violations of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Read more

Legislative Summary: The National Voter Registration Act

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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