Bucking the nation-wide trend of eroding voting rights, the state of Oregon on Tuesday signed into law a bill that will make it easier to cast a ballot—by implementing the country's first automatic registration for eligible voters when they get drivers' licenses and identification documents.
Bucking Nationwide Cuts to Voting Rights, Oregon Becomes First In Nation to Implement Automatic Registration
I have, over the years, watched other states - their legislatures primarily under GOP control - working very hard to make voting unavailable to sectors of their populations. I've always thought how much fear underlies such laws - the kind of fear that compels people to deny human rights and dignity to others who are not their mirror-image.
Oregon is not, I suspect, a perfect state. But I could not be prouder of it right now. As the article states, this may not be a perfect solution, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.
As an Oregonian, today I celebrate!
Well, considering the day, you'd best celebrate with a growler of one of our fine craft beers.
Jerry Brown , get off your duff and push for universal registration. Follow Oregon's lead and embarrass the southern states by showing what democracy looks like.
Or a glass of one of our many really fine wines!
Whoops! Just caught the reference to craft beers. The wearin' of the green.
It is a step in the right direction, but the necessity of obtaining a driver's license first, is a major draw back. Oregon could have gone one step further and simply given anyone who possesses a SSN, the right to vote. Nevertheless, good job!
There is the question of citizenship which relates directly to voting and is important to many people who are concerned about immigration law; the DMV has all the necessary information to prove citizenship for voting purposes where a Social Security number does not.
Just to add an historical footnote, the state of Pennsylvania up to the early 1900's did automatically enroll citizens on the voting rolls. When the wave of European emigration reached it's peak, something had to be done and the policy was rescinded. History is not always a March forward, it often spends centuries in backwaters of ignorance and racism.
I understand how some feel that the right to vote is a beloved right, duty, and responsibility in the US, but the idea of citizenship, to me, is secondary to to the promise of democracy by means of the all important vote. This has to do with my opinion of politics of inclusion, admired by progressives, as apposed to politics of exclusion by the conservatives.
Our history of vote denial plainly shows how the conservatives has sought to deny the vote to all those who they deemed unsuitable. Better to let some unqualified vote, than to keep some qualified from voting. But, again, that's just me.