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Jonathan Bernstein

Oregon Gives Democracy a Try

A new voter registration law in Oregon actually encourages people to vote. Imagine that.
They came to vote.

They came to vote.

Saul Loeb/AFP

Very good news for voting: Oregon makes voter registration automatic. As my View colleague Francis Barry puts it: After Selma and the Voting Rights Act, “The question that people should be asking all these years later is: Why should anyone have to register at all?”

The new law, signed yesterday by Oregon Governor Kate Brown, mandates that the state automatically register all qualified citizens based on drivers license records. Citizens will have the ability to opt out, but the burden will be on the state to keep records up to date.