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A Background and Context
Pages 23-28

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From page 23...
... The Voting Rights Act of 1965 aims to broadly protect voter rights by prohibiting discriminatory voting practices and by preventing an individual from being denied the right to vote "because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under the State law to vote in such election." Subsequent legislation aimed at facilitating voter registration and increasing the accessibility of absentee ballots for particular classes of voters includes the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984 and the Uniformed and Overseas Citizen Absentee Voting Act of 1986. The National Voter Registration Act of 1994 (NVRA)
From page 24...
... Depending on the state, citizens can also obtain voter registration materials in many places, including military facilities, assisted living facilities, high schools, vocational schools, social service agencies, nursing homes, and libraries, or through voter registration drives, or by downloading materials from the Internet. In addition, the National Voter Registration Act requires all states to provide such materials at their departments of motor vehicles, departments of human services, and public assistance agencies.
From page 25...
... FIGURE A.1 Voter registration list maintenance options under the National Voter Registration Act. SOURCE: National Clearinghouse on Election Administration, "Implementing the National Voter Registration Act of 1993: Requirements, Issues, Approaches, and Examples," Federal Election 25 Commission, Washington, D.C., January 1, 1994, p.
From page 26...
... It also requires election officials to perform regular maintenance regarding the accuracy and completeness of the registration lists.2 THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE OF VOTER REGISTRATION The tensions that gave rise to laws related to voter registration persist today. In an ideal world, voter registration lists would include all those individuals eligible to vote and none of the individuals not eligible to vote.
From page 27...
... Concerns have also been raised about the safety of battered men or women if the contact information contained in their voter registration were to be disclosed publicly, and some jurisdictions have enacted special protections in this instance. THE BASIC REQUIREMENT FOR STATEWIDE VOTER REGISTRATION DATABASES HAVA Section 303 requires each state to establish and maintain a "single, uniform, official, centralized, interactive computerized statewide voter registration list" that contains the voter registration information for all eligible voters in the state and requires that the VRD be electronically accessible by any election official in the state.
From page 28...
... It should also be noted that although guidance regarding database structures or system attributes has been promulgated through the EAC's Voluntary Guidance on Implementation of Statewide Voter Registration Lists,4 the guidance remains voluntary, and the agency charged with enforcing HAVA -- the Department of Justice -- has not issued guidelines or regulations of its own. Thus, state election officials may proceed at their own risk that some design decision might be challenged later as not being HAVAcompliant.

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