Voting rights advocates and the state of Nevada settled a lawsuit today over the state’s implementation of a federal law aimed at registering low-income voters. Under terms of the settlement, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services will provide each of its clients a voter registration application, help them fill out the forms and send the applications to state election officials. The department administers benefit programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, cash assistance, Medicaid and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, to low-income Nevadans.
“Every step we take to assist all eligible Americans to become voters is a sound step,” said Clarissa Martinez De Castro, deputy vice president of the National Council of La Raza. “That’s what the (National Voter Registration Act) is all about, and today’s agreement will help more Nevadans have access to registration and to the opportunity to make their voices heard in the voting booth.”
The lawsuit was brought by the National Council of La Raza and NAACP branches in Reno and Las Vegas in 2012.
The groups sued the Nevada secretary of state and the Department of Health and Human Services, claiming the state was failing to register voters at public assistance agencies as required under federal law.