Arrow-right Camera


Justice Department Sues 3 States Over Motor Voter Registration

The Justice Department Monday sued three states - California, Pennsylvania and Illinois - for violating a new federal law that seeks to simplify voter registration.

“How difficult is it to hand out a form to someone when they stop by a government agency?” asked Attorney General Janet Reno, who announced the lawsuits at a news conference in her office. “It’s one-stop shopping. It’s government made easy. It makes sense.”

The lawsuit seeks compliance with the law, which requires states to provide registration through the mail, at motor-vehicle offices, and at social-service agencies.

For some Republican governors, the new statute - dubbed the motorvoter law - is costly interference that they say violates the constitutional guarantee of states’ rights.

But the political overtones to that debate were unmistakable.

Republicans believe the law would favor Democrats because it promotes voter registration at social agencies that serve low-income people who are more likely to be Democrats.

Tags: briefly