Wednesday, 18 March 2015 00:00

Bucking Nationwide Trend on Voting Rights, Oregon Becomes First to Make Registration Automatic

Written by  Sarah Lazare | Common Dreams
While this is the first U.S. legislation enacting automatic registration, such measures are more common in other countries. This photograph was taken at last year's Moral March on Raleigh, North Carolina. While this is the first U.S. legislation enacting automatic registration, such measures are more common in other countries. This photograph was taken at last year's Moral March on Raleigh, North Carolina. Stephen Melkisethian/flickr/cc

New bill signed Monday means that any eligible voter who does business with the Department of Motor Vehicles will be automatically registered

Bucking the nation-wide trend of eroding voting rights, the state of Oregon on Tuesday signed into law a bill that will make it easier to cast a ballot—by implementing the country's first automatic registration for eligible voters when they get drivers' licenses and identification documents.


The "Motor Voter" legislation directs the Department of Transportation to "provide Secretary of State with electronic records containing legal name, age, residence and citizenship information and electronic signature of each person who may qualify as elector as prescribed by secretary by rule."

This means that any eligible voter who is not already registered but has done business with the DMV will automatically receive a ballot in the mail 20 days before the state's next election.

The legislation, which will give state residents the option of opting out, is expected to add approximately 300,000 voters.

A wave of legislative attacks on voting rights that has swept the nation has disproportionately blocked poor people, people of color, young people, and seniors across the U.S. from casting ballots. As the Editorial Board of theWashington Post pointed out, Oregon's new measure "won't be perfect" because "many poor and minority voters lack state-issued identification, and they could fall through cracks in Oregon’s automatic registration."

"When you make it convenient to vote, people participate," said Laura Terrill Patten, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon. "We are thrilled about the passage of this bill and the opportunity to get a ballot in the hands of all eligible Oregon voters. While other states are rolling back access to voting rights and women’s health, Oregon continues to lead the way by making voter registration more accessible, more accurate and more secure."

While this is the first such measure in the U.S., automatic registration is more common in other countries. A 2009 report by the Brennan Center for Justice notes that in Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, and Québec, voter registration is "virtually automatic." All of these countries have far higher registration rates than the United States.

Original article on Common Dreams

Read 2597 times

Latest End Corporate Rule News

  • New Docs Reveal NSA Never Ended Bulk Email Collection, Just Hid It Better

    Agency shut down email surveillance in 2011, only to relaunch it under different intelligence laws.   The National Security Agency (NSA) secretly replaced its program monitoring Americans' emails and moved it overseas before the operation was exposed by Edward Snowden in 2013, according to new reporting.

    Read More
  • Wisconsin Democrats recuse themselves from vote on GOP campaign finance bill

    Democrats in the Wisconsin Assembly recused themselves en masse from a Wednesday evening vote on a contentious GOP proposal to reshape the state's campaign finance laws. The bill passed shortly before 8 p.m. with the unanimous support of the chamber's Republican members, with no Democrats casting votes. The minority party has

    Read More
  • IMF Report Downgrades Global Economy and Issues Debt Warning

    WASHINGTON - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) downgrades global growth forecasts and warns of rising debt levels in "emerging" economies in its newly released World Economic Outlook report. The report lowers growth forecasts in low-income and developing countries from 6% in 2014 to 4.8% in 2015. The IMF releases the report

    Read More
  • Civil Society Comes Together in Latin America to Challenge the World Bank’s Annual Meetings

    Civil society organizations, Indigenous communities, and social movements come together to challenge the World Bank’s neoliberal agenda, which has caused massive environmental destruction and social distress on the Latin American continent. Lima, Peru — The International Monetary Fund–World Bank Annual Meetings will take place in Lima, Peru this year from October

    Read More
  • Fortune 500 Companies Stash $2.1 Trillion Offshore as US Taxpayers Foot the Bill

    New study highlights the repeated failure by U.S. lawmakers to crack down on tax avoidance schemes. America's Fortune 500 companies are "playing by different rules" when it comes to the federal tax system and, according to a new report out Tuesday, are stashing $2.1 trillion in offshore tax havens—with as

    Read More
  • The Long, Strange Tale of a California Farm’s Attempts To Break Its Workers’ Union

    The strategy by one of the nation's largest growers to shed its obligation to sign a contract with the United Farm Workers was dealt a key setback last week. An administrative law judge not only threw out what union organizers say was one of the dirtiest decertification elections in recent

    Read More
  • The Post-Wall Street Era Will be Local

    On a shelf of the Phoenix Bookstore, located in the heart of the ecovillage of Findhorn in the north of Scotland, the title Going Local (Free Press, 2000) caught my eye. The book was written by the American economist Michael H. Shuman. It was June 2002, and I had come to Findhorn to

    Read More
  • Justice Department Lets Giant Corporation Evade Prosecution for Deaths of Over 100 People

    'This deal will not deter future corporate wrongdoers, it will not hold GM accountable, and it sets back the demand for justice by the family members of victims of GM’s horrible actions.'—Robert Weissman, Public Citizen

    Read More
  • The Michigan GOP's War on 'A People's History'

    Howard Zinn's work is an instruction manual for challenging injustice - which is why it terrifies corporate elites. Michigan State Senator Patrick Colbeck is at it again. Back in 2013, Colbeck sponsored a bill calling for schools to institute a Patriot Week that would indoctrinate students with nationalist and militarist “history” lessons. Now,

    Read More
  • ALEC Aims to Privatize All Schools

    Wisconsin follows its lead but Nevada's sweeping law sends shock waves.   On the heels of a newly passed state budget that again leaves our K-12 public schools behind without ample and consistent funding, I recently headed back to where the school privatization push all began—the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC.

    Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9

Support Postal Banking



Occucard - Save the Post Office




Oppose the TPP

Featured News

  • Making the Paris Climate Talks Count +

    At the bottom of all the jargon that will be thrown about this week’s climate conference are human lives. It’s Read More
  • Let the GOP Hunger Games Begin +

    The six top Republican candidates take economic policy into the wilderness. Fact: Too many Republican candidates are clogging the political Read More
  • Energy Revolution Is Possible... And It Would Only Take 782 Rich People To Pay For It +

    Less than 800 of the world's wealthiest people could power half the world with 100 percent renewable energy within 15 Read More
  • Security Guards from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport Join One-Day Nationwide Airport Worker Strike +

    Security guards at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago walked off the job yesterday as part of a wave of labor Read More
  • TPP Media March +

     Join our Twitter Storm every #TPPTuesday!   6 PM PT | 9 PM ET Everyone with a Twitter account can participate. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38
  • 39
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 48
  • 49
  • 50
  • 51
  • 52
  • 53
  • 54
  • 55
  • 56
  • 57
  • 58
  • 59
  • 60
  • 61
  • 62
  • 63
  • 64
  • 65

Does Your Legislator Support the ERA



Featured End Corporate Rule News

  • Amazon’s Monopsony Is Not O.K. +, the giant online retailer, has too much power, and it uses that power in ways that hurt America. O.K., Read More
  • End Corporate Rule +

    Time and again, whether we are seeking sensible healthcare, environmental, economic, or foreign policy—supported by a majority of Americans—we hit Read More
  • A Short History of Postal Banking +

    As the debate over reinstituting postal banking heats up, we should know we had it. And it worked. Last week Read More
  • A New Postal Union Leader Really Doesn't Want Mail Sent From Staples +

    It’s unusual for a challenger to unseat an incumbent president in the postal workers’ union election, but Mark Dimondstein did Read More
  • Local GMO Fights Smash Records as Monsanto's Millions Bankroll Opposition +

    Citizen-led initiatives to regulate GMOs in Hawaii, Oregon and Colorado face deep pockets of outside industry groups Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7

End Corporate Rule Calls

  • Listen to the October call as the team discusses the status of our constitutional amendments campaign, Glass-Steagall, and...
  • Listen to this month's call as the team discusses and endorses new legislation, what work is on the horizon, and provides...
  • Listen to this month's call as the team discusses their role with the Grand Alliance to save the Post Office and the Papal...