Project Vote: Permanent Portable Voter Registration


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Following the decision in Shelby County v. Holder, striking down the key enforcement provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Texas — historically among the worst offenders in voter suppression — did not even wait two hours before passing an onerous voter ID law and a new redistricting map (hoping to render a federal court challenge to an earlier redistricting map moot). Other Southern states, also under the Section 5 preclearance regimen, have been quick to follow the lead of Texas.

The speed with which these Southern states, with a long and sordid history of racial dsiscrimination and voter suppression, moved to enact new voter suppression laws demonstrated the intellectual dishonesty and utter ridiculousness of Chief Justice Roberts and the five conservative activist justices who argued that racism is not what it used to be and voter suppression is not so bad. Subtle racism may not be as shockingly offensive as overt racism, but it is still racism.

Voting rights are being reversed rather than expanded to more voters. It is undemocratic, and un-American. We should be expanding the franchise to more voters and making voting easier to allow for more people to participate in the civic ritual of voting.

To that end, Project Vote is releasing a new policy paper on Permanent Portable Registration, something which i have advocated for years. Press release (below the fold).

Permanent_portable_voter_reg_policypaper_coverContinuing in our Issues in Election Administration series, today Project Vote is releasing a new policy paper on Permanent Portable Registration. You can read and download this new paper here.

America is a highly mobile society, with tens of millions of
citizens changing their residences every year. Because a voter’s
eligibility is based on legal residence, this high mobility rate
threatens the ability of eligible voters to cast ballots that count.

Permanent portable registration is an innovation that seeks to
address this problem by allowing a voter who moves anywhere within the
state where he or she is already registered to update his or her address
at the polls and vote.

“Permanent portable voter registration is a simple change that will
significantly improve voters’ equal access to the ballot box,” writes
Project Vote Election Counsel Michelle Kanter Cohen. “It improves
turnout among voters who move, reduces the impact of mobility
disparities among historically underrepresented populations, and uses
existing resources to make voting easier and more accessible.”

In this new policy paper,
Kanter Cohen provides a comprehensive overview of this issue. The paper
defines permanent portable registration, discusses its numerous
benefits, and suggests best practices when implementing permanent
portable registration. In addition, this paper reviews the status of
permanent portable registration in the states.

Download this policy paper here. (.pdf)

Permanent portable voter registration would eliminate one of the key tools of voter suppression.