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Federal Report: CA Breaking the Law on Voter Registration

July 9, 2007

The state is breakin' the law. A new report from federal Election Assistance Commission shows California and most other states are not following the National Voter Registration Act, which has been in effect for 10 years. The report shows most states ignore the requirement that voter registration be offered through public assistance agencies.

Michael Slater with Project Vote says states won't likely ever follow the law unless they're forced to, and he says the federal agency that could do that has other priorities...

“The Justice Department has been on a real tear to try and purge voters, while at the same time, ignoring overwhelming evidence that states aren't doing enough to register voters.”

Slater notes that only 59 percent of people in the lowest income categories are registered to vote, compared to 85 percent of the richest. He says that gap was one of the reasons behind the law. The Justice Department did sue Tennessee over non-compliance, and now the state is tops for voter registration at public assistance offices.

Slater adds that the report also shows that states aren't consistent in even keeping track of the number of registered voters, which is something they're supposed to do under the law.

“States are really refusing to comply and the Justice Department, which is charged with enforcing the National Voter Registration Act, has declined to do so.”

More information on Project Vote is at

Deborah Smith/Eric Mack, Public News Service - CA