National Voter Registration Act of 1993

National Voter Registration Act of 1993

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), also known as The Motor Voter Act, was signed into effect by United States President Bill Clinton on May 20, 1993, but it did not become effective until 1995. This act required state governments to make the voter registration process easier by providing uniform registration services through drivers' license registration centers, disability centers, schools, libraries, and mail-in registration. This Act was scrutinized by several states because it was believed to help the Democratic Party . States' rights was was also a primary argument against the Motor Voter Act .

This voter registration movement was spear headed by Frances Piven and Richard Cloward in the early 1980s in response to the Reagan administration. It was believed that through government implementation of more active registration proposals it would increase voter turn out rates which have been on a steady decline since the monumental election of 1896. Voter turnout rate among registered voters steadily decreased once the NVRA was implemented across the country.


The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) is responsible for administering NVRA for U.S. citizens abroad. FVAP allows eligible citizens to register to vote at 6000 Armed Forces Recruitment Offices nationwide.

Wesley v. Cox

In 2004, the Nu Mu Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, held a voter registration drive in DeKalb County, Georgia, from which Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox, rejected all 63 voter registration applications on the basis that the fraternity did not follow correct procedures, including obtaining specific pre-clearance from the state to conduct their drive. Nu Mu Lambda filed Charles H. Wesley Education Foundation v. Cathy Cox on the basis that the Georgia Secretary of State's long-standing policy and practice of rejecting mail-in voter registration applications that were submitted in bundles and/or by persons other than registrars, deputy registrars, or the individual applicants, violated the requirements of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 by undermining voter registration drives. A senior U.S. District Judge upheld earlier federal court decisions in the case, which also found private entities have a right under Motor Voter, to engage in organized voter registration activity in Georgia at times and locations of their choosing, without the presence or permission of state or local election officials.

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