National Voter Registration Act Is A Step Towards Bringing Democracy To The Disabled


Voting is an important part of the democratic system of United States. The Congress has made many provisions to help voters cast their ballot with ease. The Motor Voter Act, officially known as the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 has been introduced towards this end. It has brought extreme advantage for people who have physical disabilities as it is now possible to register for voting right at the time when you apply for the driver's license.

Brief Introduction
The Act was given Presidential Assent by Bill Clinton in 1993 and it became mandatory in 1995. The primary tenet of this law is that if a person applies for the first time or to renew his driving license or if he applies for any such social service, he shall be allowed to register himself as a voter at the same time. For the physically challenged people, another special clause has been added which brings in the possibility to send the voter registration by mail. Special provisions have been made for individual voter registration drives.

Exemptions
It must be understood that at the time of signing of this Act, there were six states where the law did not go in force. Three states- Iowa, Maine and Montana were considered exempt as the constitution of these states did not require any registration process for voting at all. Alaska, Vermont and Virginia were given special exemption from the law as well though this was because the constitution of these states had provisions conflicting to the law.

Other Provisions
The law also makes provisions that if a person registers for a new license or for a license renewal and whereas such person is already a registered voter, the license application shall be used to update the information. This saves the people with special physical needs from having to fill in and submit multiple registration forms. In addition to this, the law has also made provisions to send in the applications by mail so that they can easily register themselves and avoid the hassle.

Limitations
Certain limitations have been defined in this law. The main limitation is to ensure proper information security. It has been laid down that under no circumstances should the information provided to fulfill the requirements of this law be used for any other purposes, whatsoever.

Procedures
Accordingly, the state government is required to give out the voter registration form along with the motor license form. It should be ensured that the form does not ask for any information in duplicate and shall ensure that only the required information is taken from the applicant.

A leading case of this law is Wesley v. Cox which has significantly improved the effectiveness and flexibility of the National Voter Registration Act, making it still more friendly for the people with special needs.