CR: 11 Voter Registration – National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) (New)

Effective Date: 10/11 Downloads: PDF Version    Revised Date: 02/17
   

Policy

To ensure compliance with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), voter registration services shall be offered at all Local WIC Agencies/Clinics to all WIC program applicants/participants at the time of new certification, re-certification, changes of address, and incoming transfers.

Procedure

The Federal law is intended to encourage individuals to register to vote and requires States to provide voter registration services at all public assistance agencies. If a Local WIC Agency/Clinic fails to implement the NVRA as set forth in this policy, the Department of Justice may initiate legal action to ensure compliance.

Each Clinic must also display in an observable place posters informing the public that voter registration services are available at that location. The sign must say “Register to Vote Here” in both English and Spanish. Additionally, the sign must include the instructions, in at least 12-point type, on how to register to vote that state:

If you are not registered to vote where you live now, would you like to apply to register to vote here today? Applying to register or declining to register to vote will not affect the amount of assistance that you will be provided by this agency. If you would like help in filling out the Voter Registration Application form, we will help you. The decision whether to seek or accept help is yours. You may fill out the application form in private. If you believe that someone has interfered with your right to register or to decline to register to vote, your right to privacy in deciding whether to register or in applying to register to vote, or your right to choose your own political party or other political preference, you may file a complaint with your county election office or the Secretary of State’s office by mailing a written complaint to SOS, Nevada State Capitol Building, 101 N. Carson St., Suite 3, Carson City, NV 89701, or email to sosmail@sos.nv.gov.

General NVRA Information

The Voter Registration Policy applies to all WIC program applicants/participants regardless of a WIC Program eligibility determination and whether an applicant/participant chooses to register to vote or not, the choice will not affect WIC Program services.

Voter registration requirements are as follows:

  • Be a citizen of the United States of America.
  • Be a resident of the State of Nevada for 30 days and in the precinct for 10 days prior to the next election.
  • Applicant is or will be 18 years of age on or before the next election.
  • Has had civil rights restored if convicted of a felony.

The NVRA specifies that any person who provides voter registration services is prohibited from: 1) seeking to influence an applicant’s political preference or party registration; 2) displaying any such political preference or party allegiance; 3) making any statement to an applicant or taking any action to discourage an applicant from registering to vote, or 4) making any statement to an applicant or taking any action that leaves the applicant with the impression that a decision to register or not to register to vote has any bearing on the availability of program services or benefits. Furthermore, the NVRA sets forth criminal penalties for noncompliance with these mandates.

Clinic Staff Responsibilities

  • All Clinic staff who provide new certification, recertification, change of address and incoming transfer services to applicants/participants are required to complete semi-annual (every six months) NVRA online training. This training offers a summary of the NVRA and our responsibilities as a public assistance agency in regards to the NVRA procedures for registering voters through the agency (NAC 293.410).
    • The required training is accessed through the State of Nevada’s learning site found at http://nvelearn.nv.gov/moodle/.
    • To setup a profile in the learning site, go to the State of Nevada NEATS homepage found at https://nvapps.state.nv.us/NEATS/admin/Home.aep. Once the profile is setup, the user name can be found at the top right hand of the screen in NEATS. The NEATS user name and password is the same for the learning site (password chosen by the user at time of profile setup). For technical assistance with the learning site contact the DoIT Helpdesk at (775) 687-9099.
    • Each staff member shall print their Certificate of Completion at the end of the online training and submit it to their clinic NVRA Coordinator.
    • For Local Agencies in Clark County that are contacted by the Clark County Elections Office, completion of their semi-annual training will serve as an NVRA approved training.
  • Should the applicant/participant choose to register, the State of Nevada Voter Registration Application (VRA) shall be provided along with any assistance needed to complete the form. The same degree of assistance shall be provided as is provided with all other WIC forms, unless the applicant/participant refuses such assistance.
  • Local agencies which normally provide accommodations for applicants/participants with minority language shall do the same for voter registration.
  • In the case of a proxy/authorized representative accessing benefits on behalf of a participant, the proxy/authorized representative must also be provided with voter registration services.
  • For those already registered to vote the option to update current voter registration shall also be provided if the applicant/participant chooses to do so (i.e. change address/County Registrar and/or political party affiliation).
  • Under special circumstances where Clinic staff work with participants by phone and are mailing documents (i.e. participant on bed rest, hospitalized, etc), voter registration services shall also be offered by mailing the VRA to them. The Mini-Tracking Form shall also be used.
  • The bottom of the Rights and Responsibilities (R&R) form on page one includes a portion for Voter Registration, which must be completed by all applicants/participants by checking “Yes” or “No” to register to vote and it must also be signed and dated by the applicant/participant at each new certification, recertification, change of address, and incoming transfer. The R&R serves as documentation of all applicants and participants choosing and/or declining to register to vote.
  • A Voter Registration Application form shall be provided to every applicant/participant who answers “Yes” to or leaves blank the Voter Preference Question.
  • If an applicant/participant completes the VRA and chooses to submit to the Clinic, the local agency shall handwrite or stamp only the date on the bottom of the VRA under “Validating Agency Use Only, Agency Stamp Here” Do not stamp or write the agency name.
  • Staff shall not accept a VRA that includes any information that has been erased or crossed out relating to a participant’s party affiliation. If an applicant does this, have him or her complete a new form.
  • If a VRA must be voided, specific procedures must be followed. When voiding a VRA the agency must write or stamp “VOID” visibly on the front of the VRA. Do not throw away, shred or destroy any VRA forms. Forward the voided VRA to the respective County Clerk/Registrar’s Office and maintain a record of the voided VRA on the Transmittal Form (Appendix CR: J).
  • R&Rs for participants shall be filed in the respective participant file. Should the situation present where more than one member of a household is being certified (i.e. two children and one mother), only one R&R and voter registration section shall be completed and signed by the participant.
  • The applicant/participant can also choose to take the VRA with them to complete at a later time and mail to their respective County Clerk/Registrar’s Office (see back of the VRA for addresses). Each staff shall ensure they are completing the Mini-Tracking Forms.
  • Outline of Voter Registration Steps
  • New Certification:
    • Ask each applicant if they want to register to vote.
    • Present the R&R form and instruct them to complete the voter registration portion of the form by checking their response, “Yes” or “No”, followed by signing and dating on the appropriate lines. File the R&R in the participant’s chart.
    • If they choose to register to vote, also offer a VRA and provide any assistance requested.
    • Either collect the completed VRA and submit to the Local Agency/Clinic NVRA Coordinator or the participant can take the VRA with them and submit it on their own.
    • Mark the Mini-Tracking Form to reflect what was done and submit weekly to the Local Agency/Clinic NVRA Coordinator.

 

  • Re-Certification:
    • Ask each participant if they want to register to vote or if they have a change of address.
    • Present the R&R form and instruct them to complete the voter registration portion of the form by checking their response, “Yes” or “No”, followed by signing and dating on the appropriate lines. File the R&R in the participant’s chart.
    • If they choose to register to vote, also offer a VRA and provide any assistance requested.
    • Either collect the completed VRA and submit to the Local Agency/Clinic NVRA Coordinator or the participant can take the VRA with them and submit it on their own.
    • If clinic staff knows the participant is already registered to vote or the participant does not want to register to vote, the Voter Registration portion of the R&R must still be completed (participant shall check “No”, sign and date). File the R&R in the participant’s chart.
    • Mark the Mini-Tracking Form to reflect what was done and submit weekly to the Local Agency/Clinic NVRA Coordinator.

Changes of Address:

  • Ask each participant who changes their address if they would like to register to vote or update their current voter registration.
  • Present the R&R form and instruct them to complete only the voter registration portion of the form by checking their response, “Yes” or “No”, followed by signing and dating on the appropriate lines. File the R&R in the participant’s chart.
  • If they choose to register to vote, also offer a VRA and provide any assistance requested.
  • If the participant is updating a current voter registration make sure they check “Address Change” and any other boxes that apply in Box 2 of the VRA.
  • Either collect the completed VRA and submit to the Local Agency/Clinic NVRA Coordinator or the participant can take the VRA with them and submit it on their own.
  •  Mark the Mini-Tracking Form to reflect what was done and submit weekly to the Local Agency/Clinic NVRA Coordinator.

Other (proxy, friend of a participant or walk-in who is not a participant):

  • Ask each individual if they want to register to vote.
  • Present the R&R form and instruct them to complete the voter registration portion of the form by checking their response, “Yes” or “No”, followed by signing and dating on the appropriate lines. File the R&R in the clinic’s Voter Registration File.
  • If they choose to register to vote, also offer a VRA and provide any assistance requested.
  • Either collect the completed VRA and submit to the Local Agency/Clinic NVRA Coordinator or the participant can take the VRA with them and submit it on their own.
  • Mark the Mini-Tracking Form to reflect what was done and submit weekly to the Local Agency/Clinic NVRA Coordinator.

NVRA Agency/Clinic Coordinator Responsibilities

  • Each Clinic shall have an NVRA Coordinator who will be in charge of voter registration activities for the Clinic. The Agency Director, Clinic Coordinator, or designee will serve in this capacity. Each Clinic will ensure they inform their State WIC Office POC who their NVRA Coordinator is.
  • The NVRA Clinic Coordinator’s duties include:
  1.  Submit completed VRAs weekly to the respective County Clerk/Registrar’s Office. The Coordinator must enclose all completed and voided VRAs with the prescribed Voter Registration Agency Transmittal Form (NVRA Appendix #2). Clinics shall only forward Transmittal Forms if completed or voided VRAs have been received; no need to forward the Transmittal Form if no VRAs were received by applicants/participants.
  2. Gather and Review VRAs weekly that are received by Clinic staff to ensure the VRAs are legible and complete before forwarding them to the respective County Clerk/Registrar of Voters Office in the county the applicant resides (each County Clerk/Registrar’s Office address is located on the back of the VRA). The Coordinator must ensure that each VRA has the date stamped or written in the “Agency Stamp Here” box on the day received by the clinic.
  3. Ensure an adequate supply of VRAs is regularly stocked in each Clinic and all staff has access to VRAs. To order more VRAs and/or related forms, follow the same policy as all other clinic supply orders and order from the Clinic Supply Order Form (see Records and Reports, RR:5) or print copies of the VRA,HA Series, from the PDF file available at www.nevadawic.org.
  4. Ensure semi-annual online trainings are completed on voter registration services for all Clinic staff as refresher training, and all new hires within one week of their start date.
    • Collect all certificates of completion for the training every 6 months or as needed with new employees and submit to the local agency’s POC.
    • Completed VRA forms must be properly returned to the respective County Clerk/Registrar’s Office no later than 10 days after the VRA is received (NRS 293.503).Therefore, Local agencies shall forward all completed and voided VRAs weekly to the respective County Clerk/Registrar’s Office with the Transmittal Form.
    •  As Election Day approaches, the Clinic NVRA Coordinator must submit VRAs daily to the County Clerk/Registrar’s Office beginning two weeks preceding the fifth Sunday before an election. This two week timeframe allows for new voters to register to vote before the close of registration for General Election.
  5. Ensure completion of Voter Registration Mini-Tracking Forms by all staff that provides new certification, recertification, change of address and incoming transfer services to applicants/participants in person, by phone or mail. The Mini-Tracking Forms are to be used for every applicant and participant being certified, recertified, or changing their address regardless if they choose to register to vote or not and whether they are physically present or not. The Mini-Tracking Form serves as a tool to track how many individuals choose to register to vote or not and by which method. (Appendix CR: I). The State WIC Office submits this tracking each month to the DHHS Director’s Office and the Secretary of State Office.
  6. Gather and Review Mini-Tracking Forms weekly after careful review of each form to ensure at least one box is marked for each Triggering Event, one box marked for each Client Response, and one box marked for the Outcome of “Yes” responses (no outcome box shall be marked for “No” responses). If neither the “yes” nor the “no” boxes are marked then the “client did mark either box” should be checked.
  7. Submit the original Mini-Tracking Forms to the State WIC Office in weekly bundles with the date range of tracking clearly written on the Date line on the top of each page. Months that end mid-week should be separated into their appropriate month and week bundle by tracking and submitting each month separately. In addition the tracking forms for the last week of the month must be received by the state office no later than the 4th of the following month.
      • The NVRA Coordinator shall also forward all original Mini-Tracking Forms weekly by mail or hand delivery only (no faxing or emailing, as originals must be sent) as follows:

Northern Clinics:

State of Nevada WIC Program

Attn: Voter Registration Tracking

400 W. King Street, Suite 300

Carson City, NV 89703

      • For small or part-time clinics that may not see participants during a week, you are still required to submit a Mini-tracking form. Form should be filled with a zero to reflect that no participants/sponsors were seen during the period due to the clinic being closed or other reason.
      • The costs associated with the mailing of the VRAs and Mini-Tracking Forms will be considered allowable nutrition services and administration (NSA) costs in monthly reimbursements.

8.  Maintain a Voter Registration file which consists of:

      • A copy of weekly Transmittal Forms (do not keep copies of VRAs)
      • Completed Voter Registration portion of R&Rs for non-participants (e.g. friend of a participant, proxy of a participant, walk-in, applicant not eligible).
      • Clinic staff Certificates of Completion of the NVRA semi-annual training.

 

For more information regarding registering to vote, please contact the Secretary of State’s Office at (775) 684-5708 or at http://nvsos.gov/index.aspx?page=703 where the option for online registration for Clark County is available, in addition to a downloadable VRA for all other Nevada counties.