Automatic voter registration (AVR) is generating considerable enthusiasm on the part of voting rights advocates and policymakers. This process has the potential to significantly increase voter registration rates in America, which is nearly unique among Western democracies in putting the onus of registration on the individual.
The momentum to develop automatic voter registration comes more than 20 years after the passage of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), a previous initiative to reduce the barriers to registration. The NVRA governs elements of voter registration in the U.S., and requires, among other provisions, that certain government agencies—including motor vehicle agencies, public assistance agencies, and disability services offices—provide voter registration services. Because the NVRA is federal law, state-based automatic voter registration programs may co-exist alongside existing NVRA procedures but cannot replace them.
Project Vote is very excited about the promise of automatic registration and the concurrent willingness of state legislatures to take up this issue. Our resources are designed to help states implement AVR effectively, in compliance with existing federal law.
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With this new wave of hostility toward the democratic process, we can expect to see fewer viable legislative efforts to modernize election administration, and more egregious efforts to block the vote. Read more
While advocates and lawmakers have slowly worked over the last 50-plus years to make the democratic process more inclusive, efficient, and modern, the future of voting rights remains uncertain under Trump. Read more
While legislative activity has slowed over the summer, the legal battles over election laws are heating up. Project Vote Legislative Director Marissa Liebling discusses the current landscape. Read more
Introduced last week, the Automatic Voter Registration Act would create a modernized registration system fit for the twenty-first century. Read more
In 2016, the trend in voting bills has been towards modernizing the voter registration process to make voting more accessible. But the threat from lawmakers to pass laws that make it harder for citizens to vote remains, and this will be the first election cycle in fifty years without the protections of the Voting Rights Act. Read more
Today we are proud to release Automatic Voter Registration: Two NVRA-Compliant Models, by election counsel Niyati Shah, and an audio... Read more
A new, comprehensive report explains two models for how states can implement automatic voter registration while remaining compliant with the voter registration requirements of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Read more
Today, senior congressional lawmakers introduced the Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2016, a transformative bill that would add up to 50 million new voters by automatically registering eligible citizens to vote. Read more
Voter registration is the first step to participating in democracy. In 2016, many states proposed new laws that, if passed, would affect a citizen’s access to voter registration and ultimately, the ballot box in November. Read more
Twenty-three million Latinos are currently eligible to vote in the United States, but less than 14 million are registered, according to a new report by the NALEO Educational Fund yesterday. Read more