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The Politics of Voter SuppressionDefending and Expanding Americans' Right to Vote$
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Tova Andrea Wang

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450853

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450853.001.0001

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The Battle over Motor Voter

The Battle over Motor Voter

(p.60) 5 The Battle over Motor Voter
The Politics of Voter Suppression

Tova Andrea Wang

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses the passage of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), called the “motor voter” law, and its contribution to voter inclusion and voter participation. Passed in 1993, the NVRA opened up the voter registration process in a number of ways, including by requiring registration services at departments of motor vehicles (DMVs) and public assistance agencies, allowing voters to register by mail, and requiring state elections officials to supply voter registration drives with voter registration forms. NVRA has been responsible for literally tens of millions of new voter registrations, and as private legal actions against states for failure to implement the law have increased, and been successful, those numbers have continued to rise. The NVRA debate and litigation are also a case study of one party fighting, on the supposed basis of combating election fraud, a reform that was predicted to and has increased participation in the political process.

Keywords:   National Voter Registration Act, NVRA, motor voter law, election laws, voter inclusion, voter participation

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