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By John Tanner | March 2, 2011
First the bad news: Voter registration in Maryland is a disaster, and the state faces the prospect of a federal lawsuit and paying big legal fees. Now the good news: The state can fix the problem in a way that avoids litigation — and actually saves money. The federal Motor Voter Act — officially, the National Voter Registration Act, or NVRA — requires the state to offer every citizen who uses a Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) office, public assistance or disability services office a chance to register to vote.
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NEWS
By John Tanner | March 2, 2011
First the bad news: Voter registration in Maryland is a disaster, and the state faces the prospect of a federal lawsuit and paying big legal fees. Now the good news: The state can fix the problem in a way that avoids litigation — and actually saves money. The federal Motor Voter Act — officially, the National Voter Registration Act, or NVRA — requires the state to offer every citizen who uses a Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) office, public assistance or disability services office a chance to register to vote.
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NEWS
January 29, 1995
There are few things as fundamental to representative government as the ability to elect public officials. And there are few things in this country as widely ignored as exercising that right.Voter turnout is dismal. Not much more than half the voting-age population bothers in presidential elections. Fewer vote in local contests. Are inertia, disdain for politics and obstacles to registration at fault? Probably all three. To remedy at least one, Congress ordered the states to encourage voter registration by offering it at motor vehicle and social services offices, as well as by mail.
NEWS
February 23, 2011
Officials at the Maryland State Board of Elections estimate that about 622,165 Maryland residents who are qualified to vote are not registered to do so. In Baltimore alone, that's about 97,000 people. Statewide elections have been decided by much less. Ensuring that the eligible are registered to vote ought to be a top priority of government at every level. Since Congress approved the Motor Voter Act in 1993, it has been the obligation of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (and its counterparts in other states)
NEWS
March 20, 1993
The Senate has now passed its version of the Motor Voter Bill. Like the House version passed earlier this year, this one makes applications for drivers' licenses (and renewals) the equivalent of voter registration forms and also authorizes uniform mail-in voter registration. The versions differ in some other respects. If agreement is reached between House and Senate, President Clinton is commited to sign the bill into law. He personally lobbied to get Senate votes for it.Republican opposition to the bill had emphasized the cost the program will impose on states and the increased potential for fraud.
NEWS
By Elaine Tassy and Elaine Tassy,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writers Dana Hedgpeth and Sherrie Ruhl contributed to this article | January 19, 1995
If you walk into a Motor Vehicle Administration or social service office today, be prepared for a new question: Are you registered to vote?It is the result of the National Voter Registration Act and a companion Maryland bill that went into effect Jan. 3, allowing citizens to apply to register by mail, in motor vehicle offices and many other government agencies.In Maryland, with a population of 5 million, there are 2 1/2 million registered voters, but 3 1/2 million licensed drivers. The statewide goal of the so-called "Motor Voter" law is to register an additional 1 million voters, said Gene Raynor, state administrator of elections.
NEWS
February 19, 1993
The House has passed and the Senate is expected to pass the so-called Motor Voter Act. This legislation requires states automatically to register driving license applicants as voters, unless they are ineligible or decline. The bill also requires states to register as voters applicants for welfare and unemployment benefits. Mail-in applications would also be required.The goal is commendable. The United States ranks 23rd among industrial democracies in voter turnout. Last year, in an election that saw the most voter interest in 24 years, only 55 percent of the voting age population cast ballots.
NEWS
By William F. Zorzi Jr. and William F. Zorzi Jr.,Sun Staff Writer | June 15, 1995
Repeatedly, Republicans tried to kill it on Capitol Hill, predicting fraud and abuse, and a tilt of voter rolls in favor of the Democrats.But now, at least in Maryland, the GOP seems to be the beneficiary of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 -- the so-called "motor voter" law.While Democrats still outnumber Republicans in the number of new registrations since Jan. 1 -- the day the law went into effect -- the GOP is making impressive gains in...
NEWS
By Jordan Moss | May 12, 1994
WHEN President Clinton signed the National Voter Registration Act, or "motor voter" bill, into law a year ago next week, it was the final achievement of the 1960s voting rights revolution.Yet today, resistance from individual states is threatening the law's promise of universal enfranchisement.Blatant obstructions to the ballot box have been outlawed since 1965, when the Voting Rights Act was passed."Motor voter" addresses more subtle obstacles, eliminating the maze of regulations that hamper voter registration in almost every state.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | September 3, 1995
LOS ANGELES -- In what political analysts say is the greatest expansion of voter rolls in the nation's history, more than 5 million Americans have registered to vote in the eight months since the National Voter Registration Act was enacted.Several states report that the act -- called the "Motor Voter Law" because it permits people to register while obtaining a driving permit -- has generated threefold increases, and greater, in the pace of registrations compared with earlier years."There's never been a massive registration like this in such a brief period in all of the country's political history," said Lloyd Leonard, an elections specialist for the League of WomenVoters, a national organization that promotes voting.
NEWS
February 23, 2011
While it is a serious problem that 144,442 would-be voters who registered via the MVA were not added to the voter rolls ( "Nearly 25 percent of MVA voter registrations fail," Feb. 21) it also plays a huge role in explaining why the same voters are called every nine months for jury duty in Baltimore City. If these "dropped" voters could be added, it would greatly increase the jury pool and jurors would be more willing to serve when they know that everyone is participating and not just the same few. Kitty Deimel, Hampden
NEWS
By Jeff Jacoby | November 15, 1996
BOSTON -- Jemima isn't yet 25, so she never had a chance to ''vote often and early for James Michael Curley,'' who died in 1958. But the crooked legend of Boston politics -- who was, not always at different times, a congressman, mayor, Massachusetts governor and prison inmate -- would surely have admired Jemima's electoral diligence in 1996.Not that Jemima went to the polls last week. She didn't even leave the house. She didn't have to. Weeks earlier, she had gotten an absentee ballot from the Board of Elections in Cleveland, Ohio.
NEWS
By William F. Zorzi Jr. and William F. Zorzi Jr.,SUN STAFF | November 6, 1996
Hundreds of Maryland voters were turned away from polling places yesterday after discovering they had been dropped from voting rolls for changing their addresses with the Motor Vehicle Administration.Baltimore City election officials said they were inundated with at least 150 calls and visits from irate voters who were surprised to learn they could not vote because they no longer were registered.In Baltimore County, election administrator Doris J. Suter said "at least that many" voters were turned away there, because their names were taken off the rolls for having changed their addresses.
NEWS
By William F. Zorzi Jr. and William F. Zorzi Jr.,SUN STAFF | November 6, 1996
Hundreds of Maryland voters were turned away from polling places yesterday after discovering they had been dropped from voting rolls for changing their addresses with the Motor Vehicle Administration.Baltimore City election officials said they were inundated with at least 150 calls and visits from irate voters who were surprised to learn they could not vote because they no longer were registered.In Baltimore County, election administrator Doris J. Suter said "at least that many" voters were turned away from polls there, because their names were taken off the rolls for having changed their addresses.
NEWS
By Anne Haddad and Sheridan Lyons and Anne Haddad and Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF | November 5, 1996
The race that has Carroll County on the edge of its seat today is the one for two spots on the Board of Education.The outcome will speak volumes about what residents think of their public schools.Carroll schools have a reputation statewide for high performance and low spending, but they are under attack in this election by two candidates who say the system is a bloated bureaucracy wasting a generous budget.Incumbents Ann M. Ballard and Joseph D. Mish Jr. are running for second terms.Challengers William M. Bowen Jr. and Jerry L. Brunst, who have been relentless critics of the board for three years, are using a team approach in an attempt to unseat the incumbents.
NEWS
By Scott Higham and Scott Higham,SUN STAFF | October 9, 1996
Even though Maryland has had a hard time complying with the national "motor-voter" registration act, the state will not be required to register voters on Election Day, a federal judge ruled in Baltimore yesterday.U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg said that Election Day registration would create chaos at polling places and would not accomplish what voting rights activists have been seeking from the start -- more registered voters."The registration system in Maryland is not aimed at discouraging people from voting," Legg ruled.
NEWS
By John Rivera and John Rivera,SUN STAFF | July 23, 1996
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.
NEWS
By John M. Biers and John M. Biers,STATES NEWS SERVICE | August 22, 1996
WASHINGTON -- Attorneys for Maryland have asked a federal court to dismiss a civil rights group's suit charging that the state has failed to implement the "motor voter" law.In a motion filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, the state said claims by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. that Maryland is not upholding the National Voter Registration Act -- which requires voter registration at motor vehicle, social service and other...
NEWS
By Sheridan Lyons and Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF | October 8, 1996
On the final day to register for next month's election, Carroll elections officials said yesterday that voter registration in the county has surged by 10,000 in the past two years.The number of registered voters totaled 74,123 -- with at least several hundred yet to be counted and more expected by mail, said Rosemary L. McCloskey, election director for the Carroll County Board of Elections. In October 1994, the total was 64,452.McCloskey and Naomi Benzil, president of the League of Women Voters of Carroll County, attributed the increase largely to the National Voter Registration Act -- commonly known as the motor-voter law -- which took effect Jan. 1, 1995.
NEWS
By John M. Biers and John M. Biers,STATES NEWS SERVICE | September 21, 1996
WASHINGTON -- One state Motor Vehicle Administration employee in Baltimore said he threw out voter registration forms, and numerous other officials weren't implementing the "motor voter" law throughout Maryland, according to depositions filed yesterday in federal court.The new evidence, filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore by the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund Inc., came on a day in which the court rejected the state's request to dismiss the fund's suit and ordered hearings next month.
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