Terri Sewell slams Alabama’s failure to comply with the National Voter Registration Act

Terri Sewell

Registering to vote and maintaining your registration will soon be easier in the Yellowhammer state if U.S. Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-07) has anything to say about it.

Last month the U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter to Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, warning the state has failed to comply with the National Voter Registration Act and will be sued by the federal government. The two-decades-old law was designed to make it easier for all Americans to register to vote and to maintain their registration.

“It is deeply disappointing – but not surprising – that an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice found that Alabama failed to comply with the National Voter Registration Act,” argued Sewell. “The purpose of the National Voter Registration Act is to remove impediments to voter registration, and to encourage Alabamians to make their voices heard through the electoral process.”

According to the Justice Department, Alabama is not compliant with Section 5 of the law, which “requires states to provide individuals with the opportunity to register to vote at the same time that they apply for a driver’s license or seek to renew a driver’s license, and requires the State to forward the completed application to the appropriate state of local election official.”

Sewell continued, “Alabama’s noncompliance with the National Voter Registration Act coupled with the limited access to DMV offices is further proof of the dire need to restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Alabamians have worked hard to put our painful past behind us, only to cast ourselves in the spotlight once more.”

If the Justice Department follows through on their threat, Alabama would become the 15th state sued for failure to comply with the law.

“Shame on Alabama for not living up to the promise of equal access to the ballot box. We must make voter registration easier and protect the vote, rather than suppress it,” Sewell concluded.


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