Georgia recently settled a lawsuit brought by a coalition of voting rights groups to force compliance with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and ensure that anyone applying for state public assistance or disability support is offered the opportunity to register to vote.
In Georgia, it’s clear there’s plenty of room for improvement. A recent report by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission found that between 2009 and 2010, Georgia had an estimated 6.7 million eligible voters, of which 5.7 million (86%) were registered. Of those registrations, 279 were done at state public assistance agencies, 19 at disability service agencies, and 569 at other state agencies.
We’ve written about similar victories and the enormous impact they’ve had in driving up the number or registrations. Registrations from Missouri public assistance agencies rose from fewer than 8,000 a year to an average of 115,000 per year after a 2008 settlement, and more than 380,000 low-income Ohioans have filled out registration forms since a suit was settled in 2009.
The results of these cases show that when people are offered the chance to register or re-register to vote, they take it! Let’s make sure the nonprofit sector does our part to ensure that all eligible Americans are registered to vote this year! Visit our voter registration resources section, or sign up to be part of National Voter Registration Day on September 25, 2012 to learn how.