Lawsuit calls for MVD to offer voter registration forms

Kevin Wilson

A non-profit group is hoping its efforts will drive more people to the voting booth this November and in elections beyond that.

The New Mexico Department of Motor Vehicles recently entered a settlement with Project Vote, bringing the state department in compliance with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

The act requires motor vehicle divisions to offer voter registration for first-time voters or address updates, and inform customers of such opportunities.

Steven Rosenfeld, a consultant with the Washington, D.C.-based Project Vote, said, “Nationally, about 30 percent of all voter registration applications go through motor vehicle offices.”

There were suspicions New Mexico wasn’t complying with the act, Rosenfeld said, when the Election Assistance Commission turned in its biannual report in 2009. According to the report, New Mexico turned in 182,071 voter registration applications, but less than 2 percent (2,765) came from the MVD.

A lawsuit was later filed on behalf of four New Mexico residents —