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

See all articles by Gail L. Heriot

Gail L. Heriot

University of San Diego School of Law

Peter Kirsanow

Independent

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

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

Heriot, Gail L. and Kirsanow, Peter, 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 (2018). San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 18-371. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3305261 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3305261

Gail L. Heriot (Contact Author)

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States

Peter Kirsanow

Independent

No Address Available

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