Voter registration drive
A voter registration drive is a coordinated, purposeful project to solicit people to sign up as registered voters who are not already registered to vote. Voter registration drives can involve hiring paid registration solicitors to ask people in targeted areas to register to vote.
The states have different rules governing how voter registration drives can be conducted. Some states don't allow the practice at all.
Third-party registration in Florida
Under Florida law, third-party voter registration organizations must:
- Name a registered agent in the state.
- Submit a list of the individuals responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization to the Division of Elections.
- Submit uarterly reports to the Division of Elections, providing the date and location of any voter registration drives held during that quarter.
There are no penalties for failure to provide this information. However, the statute provides that if a third-party voter registration organization fails to deliver voter registration applications to the Division of Elections within 10 days of receipt from the applicant, or if the third-party voter registration organization delivers applications to the Division of Elections less than 29 days before an election, it faces fines of up to $1000 per year.
In August 2006, a federal court issued an injunction prohibiting enforcement of the fines in § 97.0575 pursuant to the case League of Women Voters v. Cobb. The injunction was appealed, but the Eleventh Circuit dismissed the appeal as moot, due to the fact that the law as originally challenged had since been superseded by a new 2007 version. Florida Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning entered into a consent order on April 30, 2008, agreeing not to enforce the statute until the final amended rule is adopted, which he estimates to occur in early July 2008.
Compensation and residency
There are no laws prohibiting how registration workers are compensated nor residency requirements.
According to the governing statute, "A third-party voter registration organization that collects voter registration applications serves as a fiduciary to the applicant, ensuring that any voter registration application entrusted to the third-party voter registration organization, irrespective of party affiliation, race, ethnicity, or gender shall be promptly delivered to the division or the supervisor of elections."
Third-party registration in Indiana
There are no formal laws or regulations regarding third party registration. However, third parties are precluded from offering any sort of inducement, either monetary or non-monetary, in exchange for having a voter register. In addition, the Indiana Election Division requests that the completed voter registration forms be hand-delivered to Indiana Elections Division. Indiana prohibits voters cannot be offered any sort of inducement for completing a voter registration application.
Third-party registration in Michigan
There are no laws in the State of Michigan requiring third party voter group registration with the Board of Elections or the Michigan Secretary of State's office. There are no laws mandated over payment of registration workers nor timelines to turn in paperwork.
The Michigan Elections Board heavily discourages voter registration workers being paid per by the voter application and encourages all registration workers to turn paperwork into the Michigan Elections board in a timely basis. It has no authority to enforce these suggestions.
Still, workers can be criminally charged if they produce fraudulent registrations, which is a felony punishable by up to 2 to 3 years in prison.
Third-party registration in Missouri
Laws governing third-party registration drives in Missouri are covered in Missouri Stats. 115.203. Features of the law include:
- No person shall pay or otherwise compensate any other person for registering voters based on the number of:
- Voters registered by the other person;
- Voter registration applications collected by the other person; or
- Voter registration applications submitted to election officials by the other person.
- No person shall receive or accept payment or any other compensation from any other person for registering voters based on the number of:
- Voters registered by the person receiving or accepting payment or other compensation;
- Voter registration applications collected by the person receiving or accepting payment or other compensation;
- Voter registration applications submitted to election officials by the person receiving or accepting payment or other compensation.
- No person who agrees or offers to submit a voter registration application for another person shall knowingly destroy, deface, or conceal such voter registration application.
- Any person who accepts or receives a voter registration application from another person and agrees or offers to submit such application to the election authority for the registrant shall deliver the application to the election authority within seven days of accepting or receiving the application.
Violating the provisions of the statute is considered a Class Four election offense.
- ↑ Florida statutes governing third-party registration drives
- ↑ [1.pdf National campaign for fair elections]
- ↑ Detroit Free Press, "ACORN leader: Bogus voter applications get through", October 15, 2008
- ↑ Missouri Revised Statutes; Chapter 115: Election Authorities and Conduct of Elections; Section 115.203