The U.S. Department of Justice and the State of Connecticut reportedly resolved a dispute about the State’s voter registration practices. The DOJ had accused the state of not having complied with national guidelines which govern the process of registering citizens to vote in federal elections.
Connecticut Fails to Comply
A DOJ investigation found that Connecticut had violated Section 5 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) which stipulates that states must allow citizens renewing their driver’s licenses or other identification to register to vote in federal elections.
The DOJ also found that Connecticut had not complied with the requirement that states allow voters to change their voting addresses when filing a change of address with a state’s department of motor vehicles.
As part of the settlement Connecticut agreed to permit voter registration processes to accompany all applications for driver’s licenses and ID cards, and to begin to allow those who change their addresses with the state DMV to also change their voting addresses. Connecticut also agreed to get in touch with those who were not able to complete their voter registrations or voter changes of address and provide information to them as to how to complete these actions.
Connecticut Updates its Voter Registration Systems
Connecticut recently announced that, as a combined effort between the State’s DMV and Secretary of the State’s office, the state will automate the voter registration process. Eligible applicants will automatically be registered to vote when they go to the DMV for a driver’s license or identification card, a development which pleased the Department of Justice and presumably helped the two sides reach a settlement. The new plan differs from most states in which one has to accept voter registration. The Connecticut program will register the applicant to vote unless he or she declines registration.
The new system, which is expected to be fully operational in two years, will also see voter registration links featured on the DMV’s smartphone app among other features.