Oregonians who get their first driver’s license or renew an existing one next year will automatically be registered to vote. Officials from the secretary of state’s office said Monday that they’re ready to begin implementing a law approved by the Legislature earlier this year. Beginning Jan. 1, people who are issued a driver’s license, are U.S. citizens and are old enough to vote will receive a postcard in the mail that lets them choose to join a political party or opt out of registration. If they don’t opt out within three weeks, they’ll automatically join the voter rolls and will receive a ballot in the next election.
“Oregon is once again a national leader in elections,” said Jim Williams, the state elections director. “Just as we were the first state to make voting easier with vote by mail, now we’re making voter registration easier as well.”
State officials estimate they’ll process about 10,000 people per month, but say it’s impossible to know how many will opt out.
People who are already registered will see changes as well. If they move and change the address on their driver’s license, their voter registration will automatically be updated.