CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada public assistance agencies are stepping up voter registration efforts after a federal lawsuit accused the state of disenfranchising thousands of poor Nevadans.

The Las Vegas Sun reports the effort could benefit Democratic candidates on the November ballot because many in the targeted population have historically voted Democratic.

The initiative includes mailing thousands of voter registration forms to welfare and food stamp recipients.

New voter registration policies are detailed in memos issued by the Department of Health and Human Services earlier this summer, after several civil rights groups sued Nevada for failing to meet federal and state laws that require public assistance offices to act also as voter registration centers.

The suit argued that Nevada’s lax registration practices resulted in fewer Nevadans on public assistance registering to vote.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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