How the NVRA Has Helped Millions of Americans Register to Vote
By: The VL Response Team
May 20 marks the 24th anniversary of the signing of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Passed with bipartisan support, the NVRA (also known as the ‘Motor Voter’ act) is one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation of all time. Here’s why everyone should celebrate the anniversary of the National Voter Registration Act:
The NVRA makes registering to vote easier and more accessible to more Americans.
- It requires states to offer voter registration at DMVs and other public assistance agencies. Between 1995–2004, more than 165 million Americans registered or updated their registrations through these provisions.
- It established a federal voter registration form and required that states accept this form in addition to their state forms. This makes it easier for national organizations like Voto Latino to register voters across states.
- It promotes accurate and current registration rolls by establishing requirements for states to adhere to when it comes to maintaining and purging voting rolls. Throughout its lifetime, the NVRA has prevented at least 32 million eligible voters from being wrongfully purged from the voter rolls.
- In the first two years of its implementation, the NVRA contributed to one of the largest voter registration growth periods in American history. It continues to provide access to voter registration to millions of Americans today and is an essential line of defense to protect voting rights.
Why should we protect the NVRA?
Just last week, President Trump appointed Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach as the vice-chair of the newly-created Election Integrity Commission. Like President Trump, who claimed (without evidence) that 3–5 million illegal votes were cast in the 2016 election, Kris Kobach is a staunch believer in the presence of major voter fraud and is the mastermind behind anti-immigrant laws such as Arizona’s SB-1070, Alabama’s HB-56 and a dangerous voter ID law in his home state of Kansas.
Under an administration that seeks to make it harder for eligible Americans to vote, it is on us to work to protect and expand the right to vote. As we work towards a country that represents the values of all Americans, we must celebrate and protect vital laws like the National Voter Registration Act.
Happy 24th birthday, NVRA!
[Source: Project Vote]