Voter Roll Transparency

Who Watches the Watchmen? We do.

Photo by Rama [CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons]

The history of election administration in the U.S. is plagued with erroneous, partisan, and illegal practices that have denied the right to vote to American citizens. Valid voter registration applications have been wrongfully denied. Thousands of eligible voters have been mistakenly—or deliberately—removed from the rolls. Phony claims of voter registration fraud have been used to attack, persecute, and restrict voter registration efforts.

Fair access to records is vital for ensuring that states are not using arbitrary or politically-motivated criteria for rejecting applicants or purging voters in secret. This is why the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) requires public disclosure of voter registration activities: to encourage accountability, to help identify and stop inaccurate voter list maintenance programs, and to educate voters on how to complete applications and remain on the rolls.

And that’s why Project Vote is leading efforts to make sure states are complying with their transparency obligations under the NVRA, guaranteeing that voter registration records and list maintenance procedures are clear, in compliance with law, and available for inspection.

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Judge stays ruling in Norfolk voter registration case

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A federal judge issued a stay to an earlier ruling that would have made voter registration records available to the public. Read more

Federal judge rules voter registration records must be public

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“It’s a victory not just for Project Vote but it’s a victory for opennesss,” Project Vote attorney Ryan Malone said. Read more

Project Vote v. Long: Judge Smith’s Opinion on the State’s Motion to Dismiss

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District court's decision on defendants' motion to dismiss in Project Vote v. Long Read more

Project Vote v. Long: Judgement of Project Vote v. Long

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Judgement in Project Vote v. Long Read more

Voter beware: Confusing letter from San Diego Registrar of Voters may discourage election turnout

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After reviewing a copy of the document, a lawyer with Project Vote in Washington, D.C. says the letter would discourage many voters from visiting the polls. Read more

Virginia Election Officials Sued for Unlawfully Denying Access to Voter Files

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Today, leading voter protection groups Advancement Project and Project Vote, along with pro bono cooperating attorneys from the law firm of Ropes & Gray LLP, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Norfolk against Elisa Long, general registrar of Norfolk and Nancy Rodrigues, secretary of the State Board of Elections, for denying access to certain voter registration records.  Read more

Project Vote v. Long (Virginia)

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After receiving reports from their local community partners regarding large numbers of rejected voter registration applications—particularly from students at the... Read more

Groups file suit over denial of access to voter-registration records

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On Tuesday, leading voter protection groups Advancement Project and Project Vote filed a lawsuit in Virginia over access to certain voter registration records. Read more

Policy Paper: Maintaining Current and Accurate Voter Lists

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This report discusses some of the challenges for election officials inherent in maintaining accurate voter lists while ensuring no eligible voters are wrongfully removed from the rolls, and offers recommendations for implementing best practices. 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