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Oregon Secretary of State Wants To Automatically Register Voters

Kevin Mooney
Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. - State elections officials in Oregon would use DMV data to automatically register people to vote under a plan presented in Salem Wednesday. Supporters of the idea say it could give Oregon one of the broadest voter registration pools in the country.

In 2012, about 25 percent of those eligible to vote in Oregon did not register. That’s despite the fact that people can register at the DMV, online, or through the mail. Oregon’s Democratic Secretary of State Kate Brown wants to go even further than these existing systems.

She proposes granting her office permission to automatically register any Oregonian who has been verified as eligible to vote by the DMV.

But what about all those avid cyclists in the state without driver’s licenses?

“I think it’s critically important that we capture the Oregonians that are not driving," Brown says. "And a number of those folks we know have some type of state I.D.”

Under the proposal, newly registered people would receive notice from the state, along with instructions on how to affiliate with a particular party, or opt out altogether.

A spokesperson from the Oregon Republican Party says that more registered voters is a good thing, but the party will work with Brown to make sure there are enough safeguards to avoid voter fraud.

On the Web:

Oregon Voter Registration FAQs - Oregon Secretary of State