Voting Rights Groups Call on State to Fix Voter Registration at DMVs, or Face Litigation
June 1, 2015
NEW YORK, RALEIGH, AND WASHINGTON, DC – Attorneys for Action
NC, Democracy North Carolina, the North Carolina A. Philip Randolph
Institute (APRI), and several North Carolina residents sent a
pre-litigation notice letter today to Kim Strach, Executive
Director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE), as well
as Secretary of Transportation Anthony Tata and Commissioner of Motor
Vehicles Kelly Thomas, alleging that the North Carolina Division of
Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) is failing to meet its voter registration
The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), commonly
known as “Motor Voter,” requires the DMV to provide voter registration
services whenever an individual applies for, renews, or changes their
address on a driver’s license or state-issued identification card. DMVs
are then required to transmit this information to the appropriate
election official within 10 days (or 5 days if a voter registers or
changes their information within 5 days of the close of registration).
Today’s letter—sent on behalf of the individuals and voting
rights groups by attorneys from Dēmos, Project Vote, and the Southern Coalition for
Social Justice—cites clear evidence that the DMV is violating its legal
requirement to provide voter registration services and transmit
registration information to election officials.
May 8, 2015
RALEIGH, N.C. – Citing clear evidence that the state of
North Carolina is failing its obligation to provide low-income residents with a
meaningful opportunity to register to vote at public assistance agencies, today
Democracy North Carolina, Action NC, and the A. Philip Randolph Institute
(“APRI”) sent a pre-litigation notice letter to Kim Strach, Executive Director
of the North Carolina State Board of Elections (“NCSBE”), as well as Dr. Aldona
Wos, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
According to the letter, voter registration applications
initiated at public assistance agencies have dropped dramatically since Gov.
Pat McCrory took office. The number of applications originating from such
agencies fell from an annual average of 38,400 between 2007 and 2012 to an
average of only 16,000 in the last two
years, a decline of more than 50 percent.
The notice letter—sent on behalf of the voting rights groups
by attorneys from Dēmos, Project Vote, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
Under Law, and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice—gives the state 90 days to come into compliance
with the requirements of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (“NVRA”)
or face litigation.
As part of Project Vote's ongoing effort to keep you informed about
the changing landscape of election legislation, we are pleased to
provide the Spring 2015 edition of our ongoing Legislative Threats and Opportunities series.
Three months into 2015, the battle for the 2016 election is
already being fought in legislatures across the country.
Since January, lawmakers on the state and federal
levels have introduced over 180 bills that would change state and federal
Threats and Opportunities: Spring 2015, Project Vote's Erin Ferns Lee summaries the content, status,
and potential impact of bills introduced since the beginning of the year.
You can download the full memo below, as well as the individual maps and tables.
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