July 24th Food SNAP Coalition Meeting:
The NEXT Food SNAP Coalition is Tuesday, July 24th. This is the LAST Coalition meeting until September 25th. An agenda will go out shortly.
Voter Registration Litigation Update:
As a result of a settlement agreement reached in a lawsuit filed by the NAACP and New England United for Justice, DTA will be mailing information and voter registration forms to over 450,000 households. This mailing is being sent to anyone who contacted DTA between June 1, 2011 and May 31, 2002 to apply SNAP, TAFDC or EAEDC benefits, get recertified or report a new address. Big Congrats to NAACP, NEUJ, Project Vote, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and all the other groups working on this case!
DTA started shipping out mailings a few days ago and will continue through the end of July. DTA is one of the agencies under federal law that is legally required to help people register to vote. The DTA mailing will include a self-addressed stamped envelope! The individual can fill out the voter registration form and return it DTA in the envelope. DTA will log it in and send to the local election official in the city or town the person lives within 5 days of receipt.
Please take a moment to read the client cover letter in Field Ops Memo 2012-22 (link below, Attachment A) that is being sent as it may be confusing to some of your clients. (It is also not clear from the DTA instructions if this notice and voter reg form is going out in any language other than English.). Here’s some important information to remember:
- The deadline for registering to vote in the November federal elections is October 17, 2012.
- If a client is not sure if they are still registered to vote in their community, err on the side of having the client fill out the form. There is no problem with duplication.
- SNAP and cash assistance recipients are NOT required to register to vote as a condition of receiving benefits. Assure your clients this will not affect their benefits.
- Any U.S. citizen age 18 or older has the right to register to vote. If your client is not a US citizen, DO NOT encourage them to complete this form.
- Clients with questions about voter registration should call the following toll free number: 1-800-462-VOTE (8683)
Link for Field Ops Memo 2012-33 describing the settlement and steps DTA is taking: /content/ops-memo-2012-33-tafdc-eaedc-and-snap-%e2%80%93-voter-registration-mailing