Rose Clouston, Brendan Downes, and Jennifer L. Patin As of January 2016, 29 states and the District of Columbia have online voter registration (OVR) systems. Two additional states are set to launch OVR in the near future.[i] While OVR represents an important advancement in our democracy, its convenience and accessibility in most states benefit Americans who tend to be wealthier and whiter than the population at large. This is because the majority of states offering OVR require voters to provide a state-issued DMV ID number (most commonly from a driver’s license) in order to complete the process entirely online. Those who lack driver’s licenses—a population that is disproportionately Black, Latino, and low-income—must print, sign, and mail completed applications to local elections officials. These additional steps prevent traditionally disenfranchised communities from fully realizing the benefits of OVR. Using a DMV ID number, a state can easily retrieve an applicant’s signature from […]
Since 1965, the Lawyers’ Committee has been at the forefront of the legal struggle to advance and protect the right to vote and to ensure that the right is afforded equally to all. Through coordinated and integrated programs of litigation, voter protection, advocacy, and education, the Voting Rights Project has had a tremendous positive impact on communities of color, low-income communities, youth, people with disabilities, and other traditionally disenfranchised populations.