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Department of Labor releases guidance to provide access to voting through the American Job Center Network

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    Department of Labor releases guidance to provide access to voting through the American Job Center Network

    On March 25, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) released guidance to all 50 states and U.S. territories allowing them to designate American Job Centers (AJCs) as voter registration agencies in accordance with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). This guidance is the first of its kind from DOL and is in alignment with President Biden’s March 2021 Executive Order on promoting access to voting that asked federal agencies to expand citizens’ opportunities to register to vote. 

    The NVRA encourages multiple public programs to play a role in voter registration efforts, and Section 7 of NVRA requires states to designate offices, including those that provide public services to individuals with disabilities, as voter registration agencies. The new DOL guidance would allow states and territories to voluntarily designate AJCs, a network of nearly 2,400 locally operated centers providing job training and employment services, as voter registration agencies. If designated as a voter registration agency, AJC staff and volunteers would work as voter registration staff by distributing, assisting with the completion of, and collecting voter registration application forms. AJCs that are designated as comprehensive or affiliate voting registration agencies should consult with state election officials to ensure compliance with NVRA and state laws, train staff in NVRA regulations, and document roles, responsibilities and procedures of the AJC in this role.

    The new guidance would also allow DOL-funded programs operated in and out of AJCs to assist individual participants in registering to vote and host nonpartisan organizations onsite to conduct voter outreach activities. These DOL-funded programs specifically include the WIOA Title I Youth Program, YouthBuild, Indian and Native America (INA) Programs, National Farmworker Jobs Programs (NFJP), Reentry Employment Opportunities and Job Corps.

    The county role in administering elections is vital to our democratic process. While states play an integral role in our nation’s elections performing administrative duties such as developing statewide voter registration databases, counties and local governments run elections on the ground. 

    On March 25, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) released guidance to all 50 states and U.S. territories allowing them to designate American Job Centers (AJCs) as voter registration agencies in accordance with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).
    2022-03-30
    Blog
    2022-03-30