An important message from Demos authors Brenda Wright, Laura Williamson, and Pamela Cataldo:
Twenty-six years ago today, President Clinton signed into law the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993, the second piece of legislation he signed after winning the presidency in 1992. The NVRA aims to reduce barriers to voter registration, which too often prevent eligible people from participating in the democratic process. Its central provisions require states to provide convenient voter registration opportunities when people interact with government agencies, accept registration applications through the mail, and limit overly aggressive voter purges.
The NVRA is often referred to as the “Motor Voter Act,” because it requires that states provide voter registration during drivers’ license transactions. But it also plays a crucial role in providing voter registration opportunities during transactions at state public assistance and disability offices, to reach persons who are less likely to interact with motor vehicle offices.
Since the 1993 passage of the National Voter Registration Act, commonly referred to as Motor Voter, federal law has required that motor vehicle agencies in 44 states and the District of Columbia provide voter registration services to eligible citizens. Motor Voter registration is an effective way to ensure that rolls are up-to-date without inconveniencing voters and wasting government time and resources.