ACLU eases Nebraska’s voter registration with recent state agency improvements
LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - A recent American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) effort to streamline voter registration processes has tens of thousands of Nebraskans benefiting before this year’s National Voter Registration Day.
The ACLU project began in 2019 and was pushed to ensure compliance with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Through a series of public records requests ACLU reported that three state agencies were violating the NVRA and generally not meeting best practices.
Alongside many other provisions, the NVRA requires states Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and other agencies that provide public assistance to also perform basic voter registration services.
Before ACLU took action, people who were using some Nebraska Department of Education (DOE), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and DMV services were being denied a legally required opportunity to register or re-register.
Recent changes in 2020 have already made significant improvements. By altering the DMV change of address process, more than 37,000 Nebraskans had their voter registration address updated before the Nov. 2020 general election. In Douglas County, 40% of these individuals were previously inactive voters. This also helps election officials maintain more accurate voter registration rolls.
ACLU of Nebraska’s Executive Director Danielle Conrad said Nebraskans can now rest easier knowing significant voter registration improvements are in place.
Sarah Brannon, managing attorney with the ACLU Voting Rights Project, says she’s pleased the state will no longer deny its residents this federally mandated opportunity.
The ACLU has combatted voter registration hurdles in Nebraska by educating the public on the redistricting process, defending the voting rights of those with past criminal system involvement, and mailing thousands of early voting application forms ahead of municipal elections after county election officials failed to do so.
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