VOTING IN OREGON: Registration surges

The June data report for the Oregon Motor Voter program shows over 200,000 new records sent to Oregon’s counties for processing since the program took effect on January 1, 2016.

Release of the June report coincides with the completion of Phase II, a separate phase of the Oregon Motor Program, in which 145,000 eligible, unregistered Oregonians received OMV cards in the mail giving them the opportunity to become automatically registered voters. Of those, over 120,000 Oregonians will be sent to Oregon’s 36 counties to be processed for voter registration.

“It is clear that Oregon Motor Voter is changing the nature of voter registration in Oregon as we know it,” Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne P. Atkins said. “With completion of the second and final phase of implementation for the program, I’m looking forward to Oregon Motor Voter becoming the norm for Oregonians.”

Oregon is the first state in the U.S. to begin an automatic voter registration program. The first phase started on January 1, 2016 for eligible voters who interact with DMV on or after that date. On June 10, the Secretary of State expanded the program by contacting eligible Oregonians with qualifying DMV transactions in 2014 and 2015. This additional outreach was limited to those two years in order to ensure that the most reliable and up-to-date data would be used to contact potential voters.

Implementation of the Oregon Motor Voter program is now complete.

“It is my hope that the successful implementation of our program will set an example for other states across the country,” Atkins said. “Oregon’s experience shows that we have it in our power to make secure voter registration more convenient for those who currently face barriers to democratic participation and feel disenfranchised by the status quo.”

The data report is broken down into three reports: the cumulative June OMV report, “Phase I” report (records from January 1st 2016 forward), and the “Phase II” report (records from the 145,000 Oregonians contacted in June).

The Secretary of State releases regular reports about voter registration and Oregon Motor Voter on the 10th of each month on the elections statistics page of the Secretary of State’s website. The August 10th report will summarize the final results of the Phase II transactions once processing by the county clerks is complete.

Oregon’s voter registration law, Oregon Motor Voter, took effect on January 1, 2016. This law was created by House Bill 2177, passed by the Legislature in the 2015 Session and signed into law by Governor Kate Brown. According to Atkins, the program modernizes voter registration in Oregon and provides a secure, simple, and convenient way for more Oregonians to become registered voters.

For more information about Oregon Motor Voter, visit www.oregonmotorvoter.gov. You can sign up for media updates from the Secretary of State at the site.






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