Tate Speaks Before Election Assistance Commission
League Executive Director Speaks Before Election Assistance Commission
The League of Women Voters today urged the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to allow full public participation as it considers changes in voter registration systems.
"We see no legitimate reasonfor not following the public notice and public participation provisions," said Nancy Tate, Executive Director of the League.
The EAC is considering changes in the administration of the National Voter Registration Act,and the League called on theCommission "to look carefully and comprehensively at voter registration systems...in determining what steps to take to improve implementation of the NVRA."
Tate also stressed the importance of involving the public in decisions about election systems."We ask that you provide ample opportunity for the public to participate. In a democracy, election systems need to have the support of the public.Because voter registration impacts every voter, it is especially important ...that the public be involved, including interested organizations and individuals representing the diversity of our country."
Tate pointed out that "the Commission as a whole has formal regulatory authority under the NVRA, pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act, to develop the mail voter registration application form for elections for federal office. In so doing, the public notice and public participation provisions must be followed in making changes to the regulatory system of the NVRA. We see no legitimate reason for not following that important public input process."
The League also strongly urged the Commission to develop internal procedures for invoking its authorities underthe Help AmericanVote Actand the NVRA. "At a minimum, these procedures should be made public and provide for public participation at appropriate steps in the decision-making process. The Commission has now reached the point in its development that clear and public procedures are needed," Tate concluded.
The League of Women Voters has a trusted reputation of registering, educating, and inspiring voters to take action. Since the passage of HAVA in 2002, League members in all 50 states and over 800 local communities have sought to improve the way elections are administered.