Oregon Motor Voter Registration A Model for New Mexico

voter-regThe first week of March, the Oregon legislature passed a bill that will dramatically modernize voter registration in the Beaver State. In a groundbreaking approach, the new law will streamline registration at the DMV — commonly known as “motor voter” — by replacing a paper-based system with a new process in which the state identifies and adds eligible Oregonians to the rolls electronically — without any action needed by the voter. Many other states electronically transfer voter registration information from DMV offices to election officials, but Oregon will be the first to put the burden on the government — not the individual — to ensure voters are registered. By not requiring citizens with DMV records to submit any additional application to be registered, the bill will initially add more than 300,000 eligible voters to the rolls, and could eventually give Oregon the highest registration rate in the country.

Although contentious issues such as voter ID often get more attention, voter registration remains the single greatest barrier to participation in American democracy. Approximately 50 million eligible Americans cannot participate in elections because they are not registered to vote.

Look for Motor-Voter to be part of the NM Progressive Platform….coming soon.