NC Chapter of NAACP to Question State on Voter Registration

May 11, 2015

The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP wants the state to answer to what it says is a low number of voter registration applications the state has received from public assistance agencies in the last three years.

Chapter leaders and the Forward Together Moral Movement say they plan to visit the Department of Administration on Monday to submit a public records request regarding the records.

According to the NAACP, in 2012, 41,162 registration applications were submitted from public assistance agencies. The next year, it says the number dropped to 18,758, and down again in 2014 to 13,340.

The groups will then hold a news conference at 10 a.m. to discuss the findings and how they expect Gov. Pat McCrory and his office to address them.

Meanwhile, a coalition of groups says North Carolina's health agency is violating a federal law requiring voter registration help for low-income residents.

The groups including Durham-based Southern Coalition for Social Justice say they'll sue if the state Department of Health and Human Services and State Board of Elections do not fix the problem in 90 days.

Advocacy groups say the health agency is falling short of a federal law requiring that voter registration forms be distributed with applications for public assistance like food stamps.

The groups say voter registrations through public assistance agencies have dropped by half since Republican Gov. Pat McCrory took office in 2013.

McCrory's spokesman referred questions to DHHS, which didn't respond to requests for comment. Elections board director Kim Strach says she welcomes input from civic groups.