Nearly one out of four Marylanders who have tried to register to vote at a Motor Vehicle Administration office in the past four years has not been added to the voter rolls, according to state records obtained by The Sun.
Though some of these tens of thousands of would-be voters have undoubtedly found alternative methods to register, officials at the State Board of Elections say they field calls every year from residents who say they turned up at the polls on Election Day only to discover their names did not appear on the rolls. Elections officials, good-government advocates and lawmakers say the failures illustrate the challenges of implementing the federal Motor Voter Act.
The 1993 law, which requires states to offer voter registration to citizens when they apply for driver’s licenses, was intended to expand the voter rolls and increase participation in elections. And there has been progress: The MVA has helped sign up 451,386 new voters since January 2007. But critics say it has burdened motor vehicle departments with an unfamiliar responsibility.
“Their primary focus is not elections,” said Del. Jon S. Cardin. “We have required them to take this on.”
Full Article: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-voter-registration-20110220,0,5504015.story