Rhode Island must improve voter registration process

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Department of Justice has announced a two-year agreement with the state of Rhode Island to expand its process for improving voter turnout figures for people with the disabilities.

The Justice Department had filed a lawsuit against the state for failing to comply with the National Voter Registration Act, a law enacted in 1993 to enhance voter participation. Under the terms of the agreement, Rhode Island must make voter registration opportunities available at all public assistance and disability services offices, according to a Justice Department news release from March 18. The state is also required to distribute voter registration applications at the offices, train employees on NVRA compliance and conduct regular compliance audits.

“The voting process begins with registration, and it is essential that all citizens have unfettered access to voter registration opportunities,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, in the release.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island approved the agreement March 25, according to the Associated Press.

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