Court: DMV failed to register voters properly

Posted October 28, 2016

DMV office, Division of Motor Vehicles

— A federal judge has ordered state elections officials to count provisional ballots cast in the upcoming election from people who tried to register to vote at the state Division of Motor Vehicles but whose names don't appear on voter rolls.

U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs issued the 78-page order on Thursday, ruling that DMV has failed to meet the guidelines of the National Voter Registration Act, sometimes referred to as the "motor voter" law.

Democracy North Carolina, Action NC and the North Carolina A. Phillip Randolph Institute filed suit last year, alleging that the DMV and state agencies that take applications for public benefits such as food stamps or Medicaid weren't properly registering people to vote or record changes in their voter registrations.

Between 2007 and 2012, an average of 38,409 people registered to vote or changed their voter registration at public assistance agencies, according to figures gathered by the State Board of Elections and analyzed by Democracy NC. The average for 2013 and 2014 represented a nearly 60 percent drop off in registrations. In 2014, 13,403 voter registrations were processed by these agencies, down from 42,988 in 2011.

Biggs determined that DMV was slow in transferring voter registration records to the State Board of Elections and failed to follow up with people who turned in blank registration forms but never said they didn't want to register.

"Voter enfranchisement cannot be sacrificed when a citizen provides the state the necessary information to register to vote but the state turns its own procedures into a vehicle to burden that right," Biggs wrote in her decision. "It does not matter whether it is done intentionally or through human or technological errors in processing a completed voter registration application. Either scenario could lead to a voter’s exclusion from the voter rolls on Election Day."


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  • Stacie Hagwood Oct 30, 2016
    user avatar

    And for all the nonsense about it being the fault of Democrats, my daughter registered as a Democrat (TRIED to talk her into Unaffiliated) and DMV is operated by a majority Republican legislature and governor. So who is suppressing whom?

  • Stacie Hagwood Oct 30, 2016
    user avatar

    My daughter had the same issue when she went to vote in the primaries. Registered when she got her license, then received a notice that she was not eligible to vote until she turned 18, but knowing that she would turn 18 before the general election. After all, they HAVE her date of birth. It is so hard to get competent help these days.

  • Sue DeMarrais Oct 29, 2016
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    Barney : when you say "to dilute the vote of the producer and investor class", are you implying that somehow people not in those classes should have a lesser vote than yours?

  • Ken Ackerman Oct 29, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    Destructive Liberals? Have you listened to the shear Bile and Venom coming from the NC government for the last four years? Make the homeless pay for their own drug test before they can get help. People are unemployed because they are lazy drug addicts, so what if they worked hard for 30 years.

    Emails from elected Republicans to local election committees instructing them to select voting locations and hours that will be inconvenient for minorities.

    We already have a ruling class in this country and I can assure you they aren't Democrats. They are the rich puppet masters behind elected Republicans.

    Yes I know I'm wasting my time because I'm not a conservative, I'm not a liberal either. Since I'm not a Conservative Republican I obviously have nothing but lies to tell right?

  • Barney Gravel Oct 29, 2016
    user avatar

    Absolutely no one is shocked by this. This is just another attempt by the government class, to dilute the vote of the producer and investor class. The people who pay the government's and entitlement's class wage or benefits are being disenfranchised. If Mrs. Bill Clinton is elected it will be invalid.

  • Dwain Van Houten Oct 29, 2016
    user avatar

    Just more destructive scams by the destructive liberal democrats. They will destroy the nation to get control to implement their ruling class with most of the population being just becoming peasants. They are and have been destroying the middle class to do implement their lies! This started decades ago!

  • James Jones Oct 29, 2016
    user avatar

    and the same people say voter id is voter suppression these people will do anything for a vote

  • Keith McCraw Oct 29, 2016
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    So, these people thought they were "registered to vote" by turning in BLANK registration forms. GTFO.

  • Kenneth Jones Oct 28, 2016
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    "Motor Voter" is so full of holes. Citizens of other countries who get a license to drive in NC (can't speak for other states) are also registered to vote if they choose. I know this first hand for having a British friend who voted in the 2008 election, and was able to vote for President. This is a law that needs repealing. Apparently there are issues all around this law. If it's bad and doesn't work for legal voters but does for illegal voters, how can one argue that it doesn't need repealing?

  • Sue DeMarrais Oct 28, 2016
    user avatar

    If anything, this implies that legitimate voters were forced to cast provisional ballots because the DMV failed to register them. How exactly is it fraudulent that someone who should have been registered, who voted, and through no fault of their own was denied a non-provisional vote? Or is your gripe merely that they were (possibly) on public assistance? I think the statistics (60% drop) speak clearly to voter suppression, versus 'fraudulent voting'.