The state and the U.S. Justice Department reached a settlement to resolve claims that Connecticut’s method of registering voters at the Department of Motor Vehicles was not in compliance with federal law. Under a program beginning next week, applications for driver’s licenses and identification cards will effectively serve as voter registration applications unless a customer specifically opts out. And when a customer changes the address on file at the DMV, that information will be reflected on the voter rolls unless they make a different request. “The motor voter provision of the [National Voter Registration Act of 1993] critically supports and enhances our citizens’ access to the democratic process,” U.S. attorney Deirdre M. Daly said in a statement. “Compliance with those requirements plays an important role in ensuring that all Conneticut citizens can more easily exercise their right to vote.”
Federal authorities notified the state in April that they were authorizing a lawsuit over the alleged violations, which stemmed from the fact that paperwork at the DMV was not serving as voter registration applications.
At the same time, Secretary of the State Denise Merill was pushing legislation that would automatically register people to vote at the DMV unless they specifically declined. The General Assembly failed to pass that bill. The program that starts next week doesn’t go as far but was enough to satisfy the Justice Department’s concerns.
Full Article: Feds Sign Off On ‘Motor Voter’ Settlement – Hartford Courant.