More than 200,000 people voted in this week’s special election in Oregon’s 1st district, and none of them had to show photo identification before they cast their ballot. As the voter ID battle rages on in states across the country, the Beaver State hardly registers within the movement, even though it’s possible for an Oregonian to vote without ever having to show a photo ID. “For people arguing about photo IDs, they just haven’t even taken Oregon under consideration,” one GOP strategist said.
The lack of national attention on Oregon is likely a combination of political circumstances and culture as well as a general lack of knowledge about the voting system in the Pacific Northwest.
Since 2000, elections in Oregon have been conducted entirely by mail, so there is no one to check IDs at a polling place because polling places do not exist. Ballots must be received (either by mail or at a drop site) by 8 p.m. PST on Election Day.