By TOM KINNEN, APWASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration’s shift from focusing on making sure people who are eligible to vote can do so in November has shifted attention from voter-registration centers to where they should go, officials say.
The Trump administration announced Tuesday it would begin accepting applications for early voting locations in some states.
The move is part of a broader effort to ensure people can cast their ballots in the general election.
The move will likely draw some criticism from Democrats who say it’s a waste of money.
But the Trump White House is not looking to cut back on early voting, and officials say it will be open to as many as 18 million people who were previously excluded from the federal registration process.
The White House announced Tuesday that it would open a voter-info hotline for Americans who were not eligible to cast a ballot in the past three election cycles.
The hotline, set up by the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security, will offer assistance to people who live in the affected areas, including in places where voter registration forms were not readily available.
The effort will be conducted in five states: New York, California, Massachusetts, Washington and Minnesota.
The initiative was a response to the 2016 election, when Democrats in states such as Florida and North Carolina challenged the eligibility of millions of voters.
Democrats say the efforts to make voting easier were designed to prevent voters from casting ballots for Trump.
In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court said in a 5-4 ruling that states should not require voters to show photo identification or be preregistered before casting their ballots.
The court ordered the states to reconsider.