The Colorado Secretary of State, Elections Division, summarizes the NVRA as “a federal civil rights law that was enacted in 1993 to enhance voter registration opportunities. Section 7 of the NVRA requires public assistance agencies and agencies primarily serving persons with disabilities to offer voter registration services to all persons applying for benefits, recertifying or renewing their eligibility, or whenever a client changes an address while maintaining client confidentiality. Colorado law requires all agency sites to comply with the NVRA” (Agency-Based Voter Registration Pursuant to Section 7 of the NVRA: Implementation Guide for Colorado Public Assistance Agencies, May 17, 2010).
In a recent court case, the United States of America filed suit against the State of New York, the CUNY and SUNY systems, and many others for failure to implement the NVRA in the college and university disability student services offices. As a result of court rulings, the educational systems began implementing the NVRA in 2010. The Secretary of State in Colorado, in an effort to be proactive and avoid a similar lawsuit, has since required that all disability student service offices in colleges and universities in the state of Colorado, that receive government funding, begin implementation of the NVRA. MCC is fully compliant.
Under the State of Colorado’s policy and procedure, every institution with an office of disability student services must designate an NVRA Site Coordinator. The Site Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that the institution is in compliance, educating those who directly implement the NVRA, ensuring an adequate supply of current Colorado Voter Registration forms are available, promoting voter registration services, resolving site questions and problems, and reporting voter registration statistics to the Colorado Secretary of State Elections Division on a monthly basis. At MCC, this is the ADA Coordinator.
When a student with a disability comes in to apply for assistance, renew assistance, or change an address, the ADA Coordinator must request that the student complete a Voter Registration Choice Form. (Copies may be obtained from the ADA Coordinator.) The student has two options: check “Yes, I want to apply to register to vote today,” or “No, I do not want to apply to register to vote today.” Voter Registration Forms are provided to any person who checks the former option. They are also available to any person who wishes to register to vote. Completed Voter Registration Forms may be turned in to the county clerk themselves, or turned in by the ADA Coordinator (which will be done in a timely manner).
The NVRA Site Coordinator reports the number of students who have completed the Voter Registration Choice Form and the Voter Registration Form to the Elections Division of the Office of the Colorado secretary of State. However, no specific information about students is reported.