The National Voter Registration Act is supposed make it easier for Americans to participate in elections.
But the American Civil Liberties Union has accused several Arizona state agencies of “persistently violating” the federal law.
In a notice letter sent Tuesday to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, the ACLU took a first step toward possible legal action.
The letter alleges there are seven ways state agencies break the National Voter Registration Act.
“What we’re seeking is for the Secretary of State to take ownership and make sure that these various state agencies are in compliance with the National Voter Registration Act,” said Darrell Hill, staff attorney for the ACLU of Arizona.
One of the alleged violations is a failure to offer registration materials in languages spoken by minorities, which is required under the Voting Rights Act.
“In our investigation, we visited several offices, and many of those offices did not have Spanish forms,” Hill said. “Let alone forms in Native American languages.”
Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan released a statement responding to the letter:
“We are reviewing the letter and will help facilitate a meeting between these state agencies, local election officials and the ACLU.
As the State’s Chief Elections Officer, we take the National Voter Registration Act very seriously. Throughout my administration we’ve worked with state agencies to achieve continuous improvement in the ability of Arizonans to register to vote anytime they interact with state government.
As we further clarify the policies, procedures and responsibilities of voter registration with state and local administrators, we’re confident that Arizona will remain in full compliance with the (National Voter Registration Act).”