Project Vote, a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit that has spent recent years focusing its attention on improving voter registration, especially the enforcement of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) will officially close its doors on May 31. Michael Slater, executive director since 2003, cited the lack of funding as the reason for the closure. “[F]unding for voter registration programs declined precipitously after 2008, and the number of funders supporting voting rights advocacy and litigation slowly decreased as well,” Slater said. “At the same time, more organizations created voting rights programs, which resulted in more competition.” Slater also pointed to the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to strike down the pre-clearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act which resulted in the donor community focusing available voting rights resources on VRA enforcement, which had the effect of reducing funds for other work, such as Project Vote’s work enforcing the NVRA.
“Despite that changing environment, we were able for many years to continue to deliver on our mission to make sure the American electorate better reflected the needs and diversity of the American people,” Slater said.
For a single-issue nonprofit like Project Vote — without a diverse portfolio of work to fundraise on — the situation gradually become untenable.
“A reorganization of the civic engagement infrastructure, and donor uncertainty over how best to respond to the 2016 election, finally proved to be too much for us, and we were forced to conclude that our current model was unsustainable in this environment,” Slater said.
Full Article: electionlineWeekly.