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The Perils of Same Day Voter Registration
The fidelity of the system starts with registration

We all like things to be easy, and in doing so, sometimes we complicate them. Lets not make that same mistake with our voter registration system. HJR 11 is a proposal for same-day voter registration, sponsored by Senator Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) and Representative Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis).

First off, what is the point of having voter registration? What is the purpose? Why don’t we just let everyone who wants to vote just show up and vote? We have to know how many ballots to prepare.

It makes sense to know who voters are so we know if they qualify. We don’t want people showing up from all over the country to vote or allow children to vote. We don’t want dead people voting. And in the case of mail in voting, we should have time to mail their ballots to them. We should know the universe of voters. Candidates want to know their constituents. Citizens what to know their rights are being upheld.

Of course we have Automatic Voter Registration now. That takes care of the vast majority of voters. Why do we need same day voter registration? It would seem that as Motor Voter and other programs register an increasing number of voters, the value of same day voter registration diminishes, as the risk of fraud increases.

Did you know that when Mexico had its voter rights revolution they set up 6 month deadline on voter registration? If they don’t get their ID verified and registration done 6 months in advance they just can’t vote in the election. Election officials also come to your house to register you. Their voter ID is the most positive and reliable.

Oregon by contrast, does not require identification. That's right, ORS 247.012 reads “...except as provided by ORS 247.124, if a registration card is legible, accurate and contains, at a minimum, the registrant’s name, registrant’s address, date of birth and signatures, the county clerk shall register the person.”

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Oregon allows anyone to register without a residence. You only have to think of Oregon as your home to qualify. Oregon Legislators passed a law ORS 247.035-038: (a) The person’s residence shall be the place in which habitation is fixed and to which, when the person is absent, the person intends to return. (a) The residence address of a person who is homeless or resides in a shelter, park, motor home, marina or other identifiable location may be any place within the county describing the physical location of the person. An unintended effect is that it allows someone living in another state, say they have the same political views as the majority of the people in that state, who wants to affect our states elections, to simply say that they “think of Oregon as their home and they intend to return some day.” As long as they don’t vote in another state, it is legal. Who is to dispute their intention. We ask for some ID to be HAVA compliant, but it is not necessary. You can skip it by using the National Postcard Application.

For example, I was in the elections office and a gentleman came in saying he needed to register to vote. He stated he lived in New York. Was here just for the day and leaving to go out of the country the next day and did not know when he would return. He stated also that he had already signed up for Oregon Health Plan and tried to register to vote online but it wouldn’t accept his outdated drivers license. The clerk told him it was best to use the National Postcard Application because it didn’t require identification. The man agreed. Filled out the form. When he submitted it, he asked for a certified copy of his voter registration so he could take it with him to help him get his Oregon Driver’s license. The clerk complied with his request.


--Janice Dysinger

Post Date: 2021-02-17 12:58:07Last Update: 2021-02-17 18:44:11



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