Public Assistance Voter Registration: Before & After Implementation Reform

Public Assistance Voter Registration: Before & After Implementation Reform

IHS facilities can advance political participation of American Indians and Alaska Natives by becoming voter registration agencies under the auspices of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA). The registration process would be similar to what occurs at public assistance offices across the country.

Congress enacted the NVRA with a bipartisan majority to, among other things, increase the number of eligible citizens who register to vote in federal elections.36 The law is best known for its “motor voter” provision, which requires each state’s department of motor vehicles to make voter registration a part of its application for a driver’s license.

A less well-known part of the law requires voter registration services at state-based public agencies. This same section also allows for the possibility of federal agencies or nongovernmental offices to be designated under the law by a state and to voluntarily become an agency whose branch offices will provide voter registration services as a part of client transactions. Federal offices must “to the greatest extent practicable, cooperate with the states” when designated.