Public Assistance Agencies

Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act

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The plaintiffs and attorneys in Project Vote and the NAACP’s public assistance agency lawsuit in Louisiana.

Though most people know the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) as the “motor voter” law, fewer people know that it also mandates that voter registration be offered at other government agencies besides DMVs. State agencies offering SNAP (food stamps), TANF, Medicaid, and other government benefits are also legally required to assist their clients in registering to vote under the NVRA.

Congress included this provision, Section 7, exactly to reach the citizens who are less likely to register through other means: low-income people, minorities, the elderly, and the disabled.

However, too many states have been ignoring this part of the NVRA, meaning that millions of our most vulnerable citizens are missing out on the change to make their voices heard. That’s why Project Vote and our partners are working to fix that. We investigate compliance. We document violations of the NVRA. And, where we find problems, we work—through advocacy, assistance, and litigation—to ensure that states are following the law and doing right by their citizens.

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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

Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act: A Toolkit for Public Agencies

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Based on Project Vote’s exhaustive experience, this toolkit is a compilation of best practices for providing voter registration services required by Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act. Read more

Video: Public Assistance Lawsuit in Georgia

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A video highlighting the successful lawsuit Project Vote and our partners brought to enforce the NVRA public assistance requirements in Georgia. Read more

Voter Registration at Public Assistance Agencies

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This policy paper examines Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act, which requires public assistance agencies to also serve as voter registration agencies. The report reviews early legal challenges to implementation of Section 7; covers the history of noncompliance; and gives examples of what states can do to fulfill the promise of the NVRA. Read more

Statement in Support of California SB 35 to the State Senate

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Project Vote submitted testimony to the California State Senate in support of SB 35 (2012), a bill that clarifies obligations of state agencies under Section 7 of the National Voter Registration 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

Voter Registration Services at Public Assistance Agencies: Complying with Federal

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This paper provides information to legislators, government officials, journalists, and interested citizens about voter registration services at state public assistance agencies and offices that serve persons with disabilities, which are required by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. 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

Registering Low-Income Voters though Public Assistance Agencies in Missouri: A Success Story of the Public Agency Voter Registration Project

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This case study documents how this success was achieved, and provides a timely and powerful reminder of how proper implementation of public agency voter registration can dramatically increase the number of low-income Americans who are registered to vote. Read more