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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Another trail blazed

What could possibly go wrong?

Oregon became the first state to automatically register Americans to vote on Monday.

A new bill signed into law by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown “puts the burden of registration on the state instead of voters,” according to the Associated Press.


The law makes it so that anyone over 18 who is not registered to vote in Oregon but who has dealt with the state’s Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division since 2013 will be mailed a ballot 20 days before the next statewide election. Oregon predicts that this new system will bring 300,000 more eligible voters to the polls.

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Seventeen years ago, Oregon became the first state to use mail-in ballots for all elections.
The opportunity for fraud is of course tremendous, and the election process will now be a lot more expensive. But I think the biggest problem is dragging in people to the voting process who have clearly demonstrated that they have absolutely no interest in it. There arleady too many uninformed voters among those already registered. Adding more ignorance and apathy to the process is not going to improve the quality of candidates or government. "Universal suffrage" means letting anyone voluteer, not drafting everyone. The burden is already where it should be.