Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Oregon governor signs sweeping automatic voter registration into law

Posted by on Mar. 16, 2015 at 4:57 PM
  • 24 Replies

 

Oregon governor signs sweeping automatic voter registration into law

http://news.yahoo.com/oregon-governor-signs-sweeping-automatic-voter-registration-law-194121303.html

Oregon Governor Kate Brown speaks at the state capital building in Salem
.

View photo

Oregon Governor Kate Brown speaks at the state capital building in Salem, Oregon, February 20, 2015. ...

By Shelby Sebens

PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - Sweeping first-in-the nation legislation making voter registration automatic in Oregon was signed into law on Monday by Governor Kate Brown, potentially adding 300,000 new voters to state rolls.

The so-called Motor Voter legislation will use state Department of Motor Vehicles data to automatically register eligible voters whose information is contained in the DMV system, with a 21-day opt-out period for those who wish to be taken off the registry.

Supporters say the legislation's goal is to keep young voters, students and working families who move often from losing their right to vote. Republican lawmakers, who unanimously voted against the bill, complain it puts Oregonians' privacy at risk.

"I challenge every other state in this nation to examine their policies and to find ways to ensure there are as few barriers as possible for citizens' right to vote," said Brown, a Democrat who took office last month after John Kitzhaber stepped down amid an ethics scandal.  

The current legislation, which Brown had pushed for as secretary of state, goes further than a 1993 federal motor voter law that required states to make voter registration available for people getting or renewing a driver's license.

Under the state law, the Oregon Secretary of State will use the DMV data, which includes information on whether a person is a citizen, to register voters, who would then be sent a postcard with information on how to opt out of registration altogether.

The postcard will also instruct voters on how to choose a political party, and those who do not choose will be registered as unaffiliated under the law.

"A one-size-fits-all approach to voter registration does not work for our most vulnerable citizens that could be endangered if their personal information is suddenly made public," Republican state Senator Kim Thatcher said in a statement.

Oregon is among a handful of states that conduct elections in a vote-by-mail system and has historically had a high voter turnout rate, above the national average.

The bill is a signature piece of legislation for Brown, who was sworn in as governor Feb. 18 after Kitzhaber resigned.

The ex-governor faces a federal criminal corruption investigation over accusations his fiancรฉe used her role in his office for personal gain. He has denied accusations of wrongdoing.

(This version of the story corrects governor's name to "Brown" in first paragraph)

by on Mar. 16, 2015 at 4:57 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
jcrew6
by Ruby Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 5:03 PM

Let's hope the state runs this program better than they managed the start-up of their state health care exchange.  YIKES! 


QueenBarbie
by Silver Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 5:05 PM

Wow, here they just ask at the DMV is you want to register to vote, and if you do, you register right then and there.  Seems easier than just automatically registering everyone.


Registering everyone still doesn't mean everyone will vote.  I wonder if they registered everyone as Democrats.


Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 5:52 PM
1 mom liked this

Oregon might be the bluest of all blue states.

Reeks of desperation, really.

MeAndTommyLee
by Angie on Mar. 16, 2015 at 6:02 PM
This is a travisty. Its a blatant statement, in your face; a profound attack on liberty.
zandhmom2
by Silver Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 6:03 PM
1 mom liked this

 How can you register someone without knowing what party they align with?  Are they just going to guess? This doesn't sit well with me.

sj2014
by Silver Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 7:29 PM
1 mom liked this
Maybe it's just me, but I can't help but connect this with the recent, aggressive push in illegal immigration issues.

heresjohnny
by Silver Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 7:55 PM
1 mom liked this

I see what they're trying to do. But I think they have it backwards. Instead of having to opt-out, I think people should have to opt-in. More like a register once and be done with it kind of thing.

I know you're going to roll your eyes at me for saying this, but they're opening themselves up for a lawsuit. I know of at least one major religion (JW) where registering to vote, or having anything to do with politics, is against their doctrine. They shouldn't have to "opt-out" from doing something that goes against their religious beliefs.

1Giovanni
by Becca on Mar. 16, 2015 at 8:06 PM
I don't know if I agree with this. Registery here in Oregon is already pretty easy. You can do it online.

meriana
by Ruby Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 9:50 PM

Seems that an "opt-in" would be better than an "opt-out". I wonder how many of those living in Oregon illegally are going to end up being able to vote because someone missed the fact they aren't legal citizens.

AdrianneHill
by Ruby Member on Mar. 17, 2015 at 3:45 AM
2 moms liked this
Oh no, too many citizens have the right to vote. It's unamerican!
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)