Dissenting Statement of Commissioners Gail Heriot and Peter Kirsanow in the Report of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: Increasing Compliance with Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act
27 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2018
Date Written: 2018
In August of 2016, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued a report entitled Increasing Compliance with Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act. This Dissenting Statement was a part of that report. It discusses the fact that Section 7 of NVRA (which requires certain state agencies, including division of motor vehicles offices, to provide voter registration materials) and Section 8 of NVRA (which requires states to keep their voter rolls up to date and uncluttered) go together. The need for the latter was most acutely felt by Republican members of Congress, while the need for the former was most strongly felt by Democratic Members. In essence, they were a package deal.
Nevertheless, in recent years, the Department of Justice has been far more interested in enforcing Section 7 than Section 8. Moreover, it has interpreted Section 7 far beyond its text. The package deal has become unraveled. Such policies make future legislative compromise less likely.
Keywords: Election law, National Voter Registration Act, NVRA, voter registration, compromise, package deal, bipartisanship
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation