Voting-rights advocates warned Thursday that they may sue California based on claims that the state is not complying with the so-called Motor Voter Act, a federal law mandating that states offer people an easy way to register to vote when they obtain their driver’s licenses. The law firm of Morrison & Foerster sent a “pre-litigation” letter to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla on behalf of the League of Women Voters of California, the ACCE Institute, California Common Cause, the National Council of La Raza and several individuals.
“It’s time for the Department of Motor Vehicles to stop dragging its feet and make voter registration easy and accessible for the millions of Californians who apply for or renew their driver’s licenses or ID cards every year,” said Helen Hutchison, president of the League of Women Voters of California.
A report released Thursday by Demos, a public policy group, found that the Motor Voter Act’s requirement that a driver’s license application be treated as a voter registration application are widely ignored throughout the country. California has one of the lowest levels of DMV voter registration in the country, the report found.