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Cass R. Sunstein

Oregon's Example for Voters Everywhere

Oregon's new automatic voter registration system points to a simple, inexpensive and promising way to increase the voter rolls.
Voting from home.

Voting from home.

Photographer: Amanda Richter

This week, Oregon became the first state to adopt automatic voter registration. If you’re an Oregonian over 18, and if you’ve dealt with the state’s Driver and Motor Vehicles Division since 2013, you’ll get a notice in the mail letting you know you’re registered to vote. 

Then, unless you opt out within three weeks, you’ll automatically receive a ballot 20 days before every election. (Oregon has all-mail voting.) Almost immediately, 300,000 more voters -- a big chunk of the estimated 800,000 state residents who are eligible but still unregistered -- are likely to be signed up.