Twenty years ago today, Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), in order to make voter registration free, fair, and accessible for all Americans. The statute has been a resounding success, helping to enfranchise millions of Americans across the country.
The NVRA is often referred to as the "Motor Voter" law, because it requires states to offer voter registration with applications for driver's licenses. But other provisions are equally important. The NVRA requires states to offer voter registration to applicants for public assistance programs such as Medicaid and the new health benefit exchange that is required under the Affordable Care Act. . It also protects the right of citizens and civic associations to conduct volunteer voter registration drives, and removes state-imposed barriers to registration, by creating a one-page standardized voter registration form for use in all states, on which voters affirm their eligibility as citizens by signing a sworn affidavit.