The U.S. Department of Justice and the state of Alabama have settled a claim that state officials failed to provide voter-registration opportunities for people signing up for new or renewed driver's licenses, a violation of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, according to Alabama Media Group.
The 15-page agreement outlines a series of steps the state must take to comply with Section 5 of the NVRA, which requires states to provide voter-registration opportunities for federal elections when people apply for or seek to renew driver's licenses or other identification documents through state motor vehicle offices, the report says.
An investigation by the DOJ's Civil Rights Division found widespread noncompliance with the requirements of Section 5 of the NVRA in the state of Alabama, the report says.
"Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy," Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement, according to Alabama Media. "We commend the state of Alabama for working quickly and cooperatively with the department to ensure that eligible Alabama citizens can register to vote and update their registration information through motor vehicle agencies, with the convenience they deserve and the ease of access the law requires."
Ala. Gov. Bentley praised the secretary of his law-enforcement agency and the Alabama secretary of state for their efforts in helping to reach the agreement.
The agreement, however, does not address the state's closure of motor vehicle offices around the state in September as part of state budget cuts, the report notes. Following complaints, officials have reopened the offices one day a month.
Read more at the Alabama Media Group.