Project Vote Accuses Arkansas Of Voter Discrimination

June 15, 2012 12:00 AM
Project Vote Accuses Arkansas Of Voter Discrimination

" LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Secretary of State Mark Martin’s office is exploring allegations that low-income residents haven’t received the same opportunities to register to vote as other Arkansas residents.

The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group Project Vote — which works to support low-income, youth and minority voters — said two state agencies weren’t providing voter registration forms when people received federal food or health assistance.

“We urge you … to take immediate steps, in conjunction with the Arkansas Department of Health and the Department of Human Services, to bring the state into compliance,” the group wrote this week in a letter to the Secretary of State.

Martin’s spokesman, Alex Reed, said the office received the letter Tuesday and has begun looking into the allegations.

“We’re in the process of setting up meetings with them,” Reed said, referring to Project Vote. The group served formal notice that it intends to sue if the problems aren’t corrected.

The group’s most recent examples of voter registration forms not being handed out were from 2010, prior to Martin taking office.

Reed said the office has regular training sessions that can be used to remedy any problems identified by Project Vote.

“That will certainly be addressed,” Reed said. "

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