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This Note argues that 3PVRO activities implicate First Amendment rights to a degree that merits substantial constitutional protection, and therefore more robust judicial scrutiny of laws regulating them. The applicable constitutional standard requires a court to ask whether the regulated acts constitute political activity within the meaning of the First Amendment. An approach that more accurately reflects the political nature of voter registration will likewise enhance the utility of that standard, and yield more consistent results. This Note further argues that in certain cases restrictions on voter registration activities severely burden core First Amendment rights, and should therefore be subject to the most rigorous scrutiny.

In Part I, this Note presents the prevailing state of the law by reviewing leading Supreme Court cases and detailing the inconsistent application of that law at the trial and appellate levels. Part II analyzes why this dominant case law has been applied incorrectly, and presents a framework for incorporating additional relevant law into an analysis of such regulations. In Part III, this Note proposes an additional framework for especially severe restrictions, arguing that in such cases a balancing test is inappropriate, and heightened standards of review should apply.


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