Efforts to Engage Youth Voters through Preregistration Underway

Cross-posted to Project Vote's Voting Matters Blog

Last week, the Arizona Legislature introduced a Preregistration bill in the House, bringing it one step closer to allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to preregister to vote. If passed, Arizona would join Florida, Hawaii, North Carolina, and soon, Rhode Island in their efforts to engage youth before they may legally vote.

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Online Voter Registration: A New and Inexpensive Way to Register Voters?

Cross-posted to Project Vote’s blog, Voting Matters

Voter registration is becoming easier and more accessible for voting eligible citizens in several states through the growing trend of online voter registration. This new election reform has the potential to be a cost-effective method of enfranchising more Americans, especially as applied to the electronic transmission of applications through voter registration agencies under the National Voter Registration Act.

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Court Finds Washington Voting Law Racially Discriminatory

by Estelle Rogers

Some good news came out of Washington Tuesday.

Sound unlikely?  That’s because the news comes from the state of Washington, where the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals essentially struck down the state’s felon disenfranchisement law because it’s racially discriminatory and violates the federal Voting Rights Act.

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RNC Voter Suppression Efforts Foiled When Federal Judge Upholds Minority Voter Protections

Tuesday was a good day for voting rights when a New Jersey federal judge ruled to extend restrictions against partisan voter suppression efforts that primarily target minority voters, effectively rejecting the Republican National Committee's claim that such protections are no longer needed.

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Federal Court Lawsuit Settlement Brings Ohio into Compliance with NVRA

Resolving a three-year old lawsuit filed against the state of Ohio that charged widespread violations of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA),  parties in the case have submitted a settlement agreement to the court that should ensure voter registration opportunities for hundreds of thousands of Ohio public assistance clients. Evidence presented in the case had shown that many of Ohio's county public assistance offices were ignoring their responsibilities to provide voter registration to their low-income clients, as required by the NVRA.

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Recent Election Puts Spotlight on "Antiquated Election Laws" in Virginia

Senseless voting barriers in Virginia elections - including misinformed poll workers and "antiquated election laws" - have hurt Virginians as recently as the Nov. 3 election.  Voting rights groups say it does not have to be this way; recently, civil rights groups called out to the state to take the measures necessary to make "voting accessible to as many qualified people as possible."

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Report Shows 2008 Electorate is Most Diverse in Modern History

The 2008 election was the most diverse in modern history, with increases in participation among young people, minorities, unmarried individuals, and other historically underrepresented groups, according to a comprehensive new report by the voting rights group Project Vote. Whether gains by these groups will hold steady in 2010, however, remains to be seen.

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Bipartisan Support for Bringing Voter Registration to the 21st Century Underway

Not too long ago, the means of accessing and staying on the voter registration rolls was a highly controversial issue that often got lost in a partisan shuffle. However, after more than two million voters were unable to vote due to problems with their voter registration last year, policymakers and advocates on both sides are finally listening. Whether it is extravagant efforts to automate voter registration on the national level or revamping state voting systems to utilize citizens' access to the Internet, improving voter registration is a glimmering goal in 2009 that brings promise for restoring the democratic process in the years to come.

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What 'Liberal' Media? Study Shows Manipulation of Press to Serve Right-Wing Agenda

Cross-posted to Project Vote's Voting Matters Blog

Media manipulation by the right-wing to influence public perception has been a decade-long tactic to undermine voter registration in America. While the current media frenzy surrounding the community organization ACORN is only partly related to voter registration efforts, it is important to note that the attacks have been built on a foundation of misinformation and media manipulation by the right-wing over several years, largely surrounding the myth of "voter fraud."

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Gov. Schwarzenegger Approves Engaging Young California Voters Early

The future of voter registration and civic engagement may just stand a chance. California (a populous state of many voters-to-be) will soon allow all 17-year-old citizens to preregister to vote so that they will be automatically enrolled as legal voters once they turn 18. This newer trend in legislation, which boasts bipartisan support, has recently passed in North Carolina and has been successfully implemented in five other states, including Florida.

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