Oregon Will Automatically Register Citizens to Vote

Oregon has become the first state in the union to automatically register everyone to vote.

Under a bill signed by Gov. Kate Brown, the state will send every person who has done business with Oregon's Driver and Motor Vehicle Division since 2013 a ballot before the next statewide election. 

Oregon already conducts all elections by mail. Now the state is the first to put the burden of voter registration on the state instead of the individual according to the Associated Press.

"It just changes expectations for who's responsible for making elections work," said Barry Burden, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin and director of the Elections Research Center. "In every other state it's the responsibility for the voters to make sure it happens."


Oregon Republicans also voiced worry about potential voter fraud, the cost of implementing the measure, and whether the DMV can ensure personal information remains secure.


Information the DMV has on file, such as age, residential information, signature and citizenship status, will be transferred to the secretary of state, who will automatically update registration information.

Oregon already has one of the highest voter registration rates in the country. This move should boost that number by adding another 300,000 voters to the rolls.