Oregon’s Governor, Kate Brown, just passed a wonderfully simple voting law. They are calling it the “Motor Voter Law.” When you obtain a driver’s license or identification card with the State of Oregon you will automatically be registered to vote. That is, if you also provide proof of citizenship.
Those who provide a green card will not be registered, and Oregon prohibits the issuance of a driver’s license or identification cards to illegal immigrants.
For those that are not already registered to vote, the State of Oregon will be sending postcards notifying people that they will be registered to vote unless they return the postcard saying that they’d rather not. The postcard also offers people a chance to choose a political party. While no one is going to be required to vote, this will certainly make it easier for them to vote.
In addition to making it easy to register, Oregon is also making it easy to vote. Twenty days before each election every registered voter will be mailed a ballot. Governor Brown stated proudly, “Virtually every Oregonian will be able to have their voice heard.”
The LA Times reports:
Currently, there are about 2.2 million registered voters in Oregon, said Tony Green, spokesman for Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins, and an additional 800,000 are not registered but eligible. The new law is expected to bring nearly half of those onto the voter rolls.
Of course this passed without a single vote from a Republican, some of whom wanted to know why they needed to make registering and voting easier.
During testimony on the bill, a legislator said to me, ‘It’s already so easy to register in Oregon, why would we make it easier?’” Brown recounted as she signed the measure. “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?
Featured image from UPI/Flickr