WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has released its report Increasing Compliance with Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act, which can be found on the Commission's website.
The Commission's report examines state compliance with the National Voter Registration Act's mandate to provide voter registration forms and assistance to those utilizing public assistance and disability agencies, and the efforts of the Department of Justice and private citizens in enforcing the mandate, found in Section 7 of the Act. The report also looked at trends in voter registration modernization, including electronic and automatic registration, and the use of health benefit exchanges to register voters.
The report offers findings and recommends a series of actions at the federal and state local levels – including by the Congress and the federal Election Assistance Commission. The Commission's findings emphasize the importance of registering to vote at public assistance offices for minorities, disabled, and Limited English Proficient individuals. The report further notes that enforcement of the statute by the Department of Justice or private litigants is effective in motivating states to provide more accessible voter registration. The report also stresses the effectiveness of integrated computer processes and technology in improving voter registration rates.
The Commission's primary recommendations are that: (1) Congress should increase resources to the Department of Justice to increase technical assistance and enforcement in connection with the National Voter Registration Act; (2) states should designate additional agencies as allowed under Section 7, such as colleges, universities, and federal agencies; and (3) Congress should require federal agencies to comply with those designations. Health Benefit Exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act should also comply with Section 7.
Commission Chair Martin R. Castro stated, "With the fast-approaching presidential elections and with the gutting by the U.S. Supreme Court of the pre-clearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act has become an even more important cornerstone in our nation's obligation to provide unfettered access to the franchise to all citizens. Our report points out where the National Voter Registration Act has succeeded and how it can be better enforced. We hope this contributes to increased electoral participation by all Americans."
Founded in 1957, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan agency charged with advising the President and Congress on civil rights matters and issuing a federal civil rights enforcement report. For information about the Commission, please visit http://www.usccr.gov and follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/usccrgov
Media Contact: Brian Walch
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SOURCE U.S. Commission on Civil Rights