Vote.org Condemns New Arkansas Rule Stripping Registration Status From Tens of Thousands of Voters

Last updated on April 23, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS– Today Vote.org, the largest nonpartisan voter registration and get-out-the-vote platform in America, condemned a new Arkansas state election board action that would potentially disqualify tens of thousands of voter registration forms already submitted with electronic signatures, a standard practice that until now was sanctioned by state officials.

A new emergency rule and declaratory order by the State Board of Election Commissioners would direct county clerks to invalidate any registrations filed using digital signatures. State election commission officials met today to issue the emergency rule and accompanying order.

“There is no rationale for Arkansas’ shameful decision to change the rules after the fact and potentially invalidate tens of thousands of voter registrations, except to make it harder to register and harder to vote,” said Andrea Hailey, CEO of Vote.org. “What we are seeing in Arkansas is a stark reminder that voter suppression impacts all of us. No voter is safe when state officials abandon the law in the name of voter suppression. These policies are a direct assault on the convenient, secure, and reliable online voter registration options pioneered by Vote.org that so many voters – in Arkansas and beyond – rely upon. We will not stand by and let Arkansas or anyone else strip lawfully registered voters off the rolls without a fight.”

The new efforts to strip voters from the rolls in Arkansas follow a wave of harmful anti-voter laws and policies enacted since the 2020 election that make it harder to register and vote. Rules cracking down on the validity of electronic signatures and requiring a “wet” signature impact underserved communities in particular; only one in five SNAP recipients, for example, have access to a printer.

Vote.org is leading lawsuits in Florida and Georgia to strike down wet signature laws and, in tandem with the legal challenges, has moved to expand a Print & Mail program so that voters can have a registration form mailed to them with a stamp & envelope to drop off.

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Vote.org is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan nonprofit using technology to simplify political engagement and increase turnout among young people and voters of color. It is the largest 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan voting registration and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) technology platform in America. Through corporate and nonprofit partnerships, a large-scale community of grassroots donors, diverse coalition building and influencer-driven outreach, Vote.org leverages innovative solutions that meet underserved voters where they engage and get their information, and has established its brand as the most trusted and accessible online resource for registering to vote and understanding how to cast a ballot.

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