Oregon is poised to add an estimated 300,000 voters to its rolls—and potentially hundreds of thousands more in the years to come—in what the state says would be a first-of-its-kind law.
The “new motor voter” bill, which was introduced early last month by then-Secretary of State Kate Brown and cleared its final hurdle on Thursday, requires the state Department of Transportation to share with the Secretary of State information on any resident who provides the proof necessary to register to vote. Those residents would then receive a postcard notifying them that they’ve been automatically registered to vote, with an option to opt out.
“Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for eligible voters to participate in our elections,” Brown, now the governor, said in a statement. “As Secretary of State, the Motor Voter bill was my top priority, and I look forward to signing this bill into law.”
The bill was praised as a model for reform by national groups, such as the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice.