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The Oregon Senate overwhelmingly passed HB 2386, which would allow Oregonians with valid drivers’ licenses to register to vote on a secure, Secretary of State-hosted website. The bill, sponsored by Representative Ben Cannon (Portland, District 46) now goes back to the Oregon House of Representatives for concurrence, and then to Governor Kulongoski for approval. Oregon will now join Washington and Arizona as among the states with an online voter registration system.
“Online registration is a smart step towards modernizing Oregon’s voting system,” said OSPIRG Executive Director Dave Rosenfeld, “This will give Oregonians yet another access point to our political system.”
Online registration has proven to be popular in both Arizona and Washington. In 2003, the first year of Arizona's Online Voter Registration program, 25% of all new voter registrations were done online. That percentage then jumped to 72% in 2007. More than half of the applicants in Arizona using online voter registration are between the ages of 18 and 30, a group that historically has had low voter turnout. After Washington implemented online voter registration, 1,634 online applications were recorded in the first three days.
“Kudos to Representative Cannon, and to the entire State Legislature, for taking this important step towards bringing Oregon’s voting system into the 21st century,” said Rosenfeld.
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