Oregon Expands Voting


Bucking a national trend at making voting harder, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a bill into law yesterday that will make voting easier for Oregonians. Going forward, anyone in Oregon that has interacted with the Department of Motor Vehicles will get a ballot mailed to them automatically before the next election.

The bill is called the “motor voter” law and voters can opt-out if they don’t want to be added to the voter rolls.

Brown first proposed the measure when she was Secretary of State, estimating that some 800,000 voters were left off of voter rolls from lack of registration.

During the testimony on the bill, a legislator said to me, It’s already so easy to register, why would we make it easier? My answer is that we have the tools to make voter registration more cost effective, more secure and more convenient for Oregonians,

Why wouldn’t we?? – the Governor said in her remarks at the signing

The bill predictably, faced steep opposition from Republicans in the state legislature. The ballots will be provisional ballots, and voters would not be affiliated with a specific party. The measure could provide a model for the handful of states looking at ways to improve voter turnout.