Voting rights advocates and Massachusetts officials announced today that settlements have been reached in a three-year old federal lawsuit regarding the requirement to provide voter registration opportunities to low-income citizens who receive public assistance benefits.
The lawsuit, filed in May 2012, was brought by New England United for Justice (NEU4J) and the New England Area Conference of the NAACP (NAACP-NEAC) against the Secretary of the Commonwealth (SOC), the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), the Office of Medicaid (MassHealth), and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS). It alleged that the state’s public assistance agencies were failing to provide voter registration services that are mandated by the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). The NVRA is the same law that requires voter registration services to be provided when a citizen applies for a driver’s license.
“After years of negotiations, strategic planning, and the litigation process, we are excited to put a successful close to our lawsuit,” stated Noemi Ramos, Executive Director of NEU4J. “This was about protecting the rights of low-income people in the Commonwealth to access voter registration.”