Prof. Joyce Vance: Protect Your Vote

This post is an adaptation of tweets from Prof. Joyce Vance of Alabama Law, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama under President Obama.

Here’s a little public service announcement about your vote & the November elections. If you live in a state that is pruning its voter rolls or moving people to inactive status & you want to make sure you can vote on 11/6, what should you do? Read on, the time to act is now.

The Nat’l Voter Registration Action, also called the Motor Voter Act, provides that list maintenance programs cannot be undertaken within 90 days of a federal election. What is list maintenance & why should you care?

You may have heard about states where eligible voters were mysteriously “pruned” from voting rolls or moved to ineligible status? Despite concerns this was done to suppress Democratic votes, SCOTUS upheld these roll maintenance programs, so states can continue to do this.

A neighbor, ironically a voting rights lawyer, was moved to inactive status, despite voting consistently, in Bama’s special election. Getting restored to active status was confusing & time consuming. He had to vote a provisional ballot & take steps to insure it counted.

How do you keep this from happening to you in November? The NVRA/Motor Voter Act prohibits states from engaging in voter roll maintenance closer than 90 days to an election. We are now within that 90 day timeframe. That means you should go & update your registration NOW.

Once you’ve updated your registration & are properly listed as an active voter, the state can’t remove you, since we’re within that 90 day timeframe. If you’re not registered already, please do. If you are registered, update all of your info. You can do it online, quickly.

That’s a simple way you & your friends & family can protect your right to vote. And it wouldn’t hurt to do a screen shot capture of your updated registration. Please spread the word. Interested in reading more about the NVRA? DOJ has some info here:

A great reminder from @Jordiew, go to to check/update your registration. This will work for all states. It took me under 30 seconds to confirm I’m registered to vote in November. Now go and confirm yours & share!

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