PA settles suit over federal voter registration law

Written by The Associated Press | Aug 23, 2012 11:33 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania's state government is agreeing to make a number of changes to settle a lawsuit alleging it flouted federal laws requiring that public assistance agencies ensure clients have opportunities to register to vote.

A joint notice of settlement, filed yesterday in Philadelphia federal court, settles a lawsuit filed last month by Action United and the Black Political Empowerment Project.

In the settlement, caseworkers must make voter registration applications available as part of their interactions with people on public assistance, unless that person specifically refuses one.

The suit was filed after the state reported receiving fewer than 4,200 voter registration applications at public assistance offices in 2009 and 2010, compared with nearly 60,000 in 1995 and 1996.

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