Democracy Fund

The Democracy Fund invests in organizations working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people.

Democracy Fund


Demos is a public policy organization working to ensure all Americans have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy. Demos is conducting original research and work to ensure state compliance with the "Motor Voter" provision of the National Voter Registration Act.

Why We Invested

Voter registration is a key and necessary prerequisite to voter participation — and with a more mobile population than ever, it’s becoming increasingly critical that states comply with the “Motor Voter” aspects of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) that make voter registration more accessible to voters. NVRA requires that all individuals who request service at DMVs and social service agencies receive registration information; while groups have successfully litigated to ensure that states comply with portions of the law, many departments of motor vehicles can and should be doing more to comply with both the letter and spirit of the law.

Building on the organization’s track record of increasing state compliance with other areas of the NVRA, Demos conducted a study of the need and potential impact of stronger Motor Voter compliance. As detailed in “Driving the Vote,” states are required to incorporate voter registration into the driver’s license application, renewal and change-of-address processes, but in many states, implementation of the statute’s requirements is severely wanting, decreasing the number of voter registration applications nationwide by potentially millions.

Demos is now actively pursuing a state-based compliance strategy with the goal of bringing up some of the states with the lowest DMV registration rates through consultation, negotiation, or litigation if necessary.

How You Can Get Involved

You can stay updated on Demos’ reports, events, and media appearances by signing up for their email list.

Total Commitment

2013: $222,465 over one year. 2014: Up to $750,000 over three years. 2017: Up to $800,000 over three years.