Summary: S.874 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (09/26/1989)

National Voter Registration Act of 1989 - Requires each State to establish procedures with respect to elections for Federal office to permit voter registration by: (1) application simultaneously with application for a motor vehicle driver's license; (2) mail application; or (3) application in person at designated Federal, State, and private sector locations.

Declares that this Act does not apply to any State that has no voter registration requirement with respect to elections for Federal office.

Requires each State to: (1) assure that any eligible applicant who submits his or her application not later than the lesser of 30 days, or the period provided by State law, before the election is registered to vote in the election; (2) require the appropriate State election official to send notice to each applicant of the disposition of the application; (3) provide that the name of a voter may not be removed from the official list of eligible voters except by reason of death, criminal conviction, mental incapacity, change in residence, or voter request; (4) inform applicants under this Act of voter eligibility requirements and penalties provided by law for submission of a false voter registration application; (5) incorporate in application forms and other forms used at locations specified in this Act some means by which the person completing the form may decline to register to vote in elections for Federal office; and (6) provide a registration form to any individual who does not decline to register.

Provides that any State program or activity to protect the integrity of the electoral process by assuring an accurate and current voter registration roll for elections for Federal office: (1) shall be uniform and nondiscriminatory; and (2) may not result in the removal of the name of any person from the official list of registered voters for failing to vote.

Prohibits a general or comprehensive program which is designed to systematically remove ineligible voters from the rolls from taking place less than 60 days prior to a primary or general election for Federal office.

Prohibits a State from removing the name of a voter from the official list of eligible voters for Federal elections on the grounds that the registrant has moved, unless such registrant: (1) confirms in writing that he or she has changed residence to outside of the jurisdiction of the registrar; or (2) has failed to respond to a notice from the registrar and has not appeared to vote and, if necessary, correct the address in an election during the period beginning with the date of such notice and ending on the day after the next presidential election.

States that in the event of a change of address, for voting purposes, of a voter to another address within the jurisdiction of the same voting registrar, such registrar shall correct the voting registration list accordingly. Prohibits such voter's name from being removed from such registry of eligible voters by reason of such change of address, except as provided in this Act.

Directs the Federal Election Commission to: (1) develop a mail voter registration application form for Federal elections; (2) submit, not later than June 30 of each odd-numbered year, to the Congress a report assessing the impact of this Act on the administration of Federal elections during the preceding two-year period; and (3) provide information to the States with respect to State responsibilities under this Act.

Requires each State to designate a chief State election official to coordinate State functions under this Act.

Provides a private right of action for an individual aggrieved by a violation of this Act. Provides for the awarding of attorney fees to the prevailing party, other than the United States.

Imposes criminal penalties upon any person who: (1) intimidates, threatens, or coerces any person for registering or voting or exercising any right under this Act; or (2) deprives or defrauds the inhabitants of a State of a fair and impartially conducted election process.