National Voter Registration ActOn May 20th, 1993 President Bill Clinton signed the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. This requires each state to create voter registration procedures for registering while applying for (or renewing) a driver’s license, mail registration, and in-person registration. In addition, the act authorizes states to require first-time voters to vote in-person if they do not have an extenuating circumstance and requires states to designate voter registration agencies. Furthermore, the act creates several procedural regulations for the registration process and prevents states from removing voters from the registration rolls if they fail to vote or move (barring written notification of the move, or failure to respond to a notice from the registrar). Finally, the act requires the U.S. attorney to notify the state’s chief election official of all felony convictions, requires each state to designate a chief election official, and creates criminal penalties for anyone who tries to manipulate the voting or registering process.
This act has had a significant impact on voter registration. In the first quarter of 1995 (when the act was implemented), two million new voters were registered. Georgia registered 180,000 voters in a three-month period, compared to 85,000 for the entire preceding year. In the first quarter, Florida registered 400,000. In addition, during the first year of implementation, 40% of newly registered voters were under the age of 30. Finally, the two-year period after implementation witnessed one of the largest registration increases in American history. Indeed, the National Voter Registration Act has been instrumental in broadening the base of American democracy.
Read the NVRA