Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown will present Oregon legislators with an ambitious plan Wednesday that would ensure that almost all eligible Oregonians are automatically registered to vote. Brown plans to unveil legislation that would use driver-license data and — eventually — data from other government agencies to register citizens. “I do not think that voter registration should be a barrier to participation in voting,” Brown said in an interview Tuesday, “and our goal is to get ballots in the hands of every eligible Oregonian.”
Brown’s proposal could give Oregon the broadest pool of registered voters in the country – with the exception of North Dakota, which does not require voters to be registered.
Her legislation is certain to attract close scrutiny from lawmakers and political activists concerned about how it will affect the security of the voting system and whether it would give either political party an advantage.
“We need to take a hard look at it,” said Greg Leo, executive director of the Oregon Republican Party, “but having more voters registered isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”