State sued over 'motor voter' law Registration act violated, NAACP legal fund alleges

July 23, 1996|By John Rivera | John Rivera,SUN STAFF

Lawyers for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a class-action suit in federal court yesterday against Maryland state officials, accusing them of failing to comply with the National Voter Registration Act, commonly known as "motor voter."

The fund, which is independent from the Baltimore-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.

The fund said it had uncovered numerous instances when people were not offered proper access to voter registration at state offices, such as the Motor Vehicle Administration and the Department of Social Services.

Judith Browne, managing attorney for the fund's Washington Office, said dozens of cases have been documented, "but we think that there are thousands of unknown plaintiffs in this case."

The fund is seeking not only to have the state comply with the motor voter law, "but to provide a meaningful opportunity for those who have not been registered to be able to register before the November election," Browne said.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening said he strongly supported the motor voter law and would push to ensure its full implementation in Maryland.

"I have directed Maryland's secretary of human resources and the motor vehicle administrator to make sure we are doing everything possible to increase voter registration in our state through the motor voter provision," Glendening said in a statement.

"We must do more, and we are committed to doing more. We are anxious to work closely with the NAACP leadership to resolve any issues or concerns they may have."

Pub Date: 7/23/96

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