Oklahoma residents who seek public assistance from various state agencies will be provided more opportunities to register to vote under the terms of a settlement agreement announced Thursday that would stave off a potential lawsuit over the state’s compliance with federal voting laws. Details of the settlement were released by the Oklahoma State Election Board and several voting rights advocacy groups that had voiced concerns about Oklahoma’s compliance with the 1993 National Voter Registration Act.
“The state of Oklahoma takes compliance with the National Voter Registration Act very seriously,” State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said in a statement. “The steps we’ve taken in implementing this agreement ensure state agencies are following the law and that compliance will be properly monitored.”
Under the federal law, state agencies where people seek public assistance, such as with food stamps or Medicaid, are required to offer voter registration services. But a group of Oklahoma-based nonprofits raised concerns with state election officials last summer that these agencies weren’t providing enough assistance.