Hundreds of Thousands Of Voters Unregistered in Violation of Federal Law

Weekly Voting Rights News Update

By Erin Ferns

Despite the intense media spotlight on the presidential primaries and Indiana's voter ID case in the Supreme Court, the issues of voter participation and voting rights are still grossly underreported. This week, Project Vote cited Colorado for failure to follow the federal National Voter Registration Act - a 1993 law created to increase the number of eligible citizens registered to vote - in a report released on Monday.  Project Vote found the state was in poor compliance with a section of the law requiring voter registration applications to be offered at public assistance agencies - an effort to reduce disparities in voting population based on race and income.

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Voter Fraud That Isn't: Tricks of the Voter Suppression Trade

Weekly Voting Rights News Update

By Erin Ferns

From the technological glitches to voter intimidation reports to well-hyped charges of "voter fraud," American voters are well aware of problems in our system of casting and counting ballots. However, a range of these problems are often confused and conflated with "voter fraud" in media stories, trumped-up accusations, and, most insidiously, in voter suppression attempts. The truth of "voter fraud" is much simpler than many people would have us believe. This proves to be an inconvenient reality for those individuals engaged in systematic attempts to disenfranchise specific voting populations, much like the efforts that have been laid bare at the Department of Justice over the past eight months.

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Voter registration from public assistance agencies up in North Carolina

Thousands of low-income North Carolinians are taking advantage of new voter registration opportunities at public assistance agencies, thanks to reforms instituted by the state’s Board of Election in partnership with Project Vote, Demos and Lawyers Committee.

The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993, commonly known as the "motor voter" law, requires state public assistance agencies to offer voter registration opportunities to applicants and clients. Most states, however, are failing to comply with the law. A 2005 study by Project Vote, Demos and ACORN found that registrations had declined nationwide by 59 percent, from 2.6 million applications in 1995-1996 to just over 1.1 million in 2003-2004. Investigations found that the declines resulted from widespread noncompliance by state agencies.

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Latest Advice from Conservatives: Ignore the Justice Department on Voting Rights

Cross-posted at Project Vote's blog, Voting Matters

By Steven Rosenfeld

There is an art in politics to not over-reaching and not over-reacting.  But the latest salvo by one of the best-known conservative voting rights activists at his former workplace—the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, which enforces federal voting rights law—crosses a new line: urging states to ignore the DOJ on voting rights.

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