(Washington, D.C.) — Governor Kate Brown today celebrated the success of automatic voter registration during an event with the Center for American Progress (CAP). Oregon has enacted a series of reforms under Governor Brown’s leadership to improve access to the ballot box. Oregon is now a national model for inclusive democracy and has one of the highest voter participation rates in the country.
“States like Georgia and Texas are passing voter suppression laws targeted at young people,” said Governor Kate Brown. “In Oregon, I’m committed to ensuring every eligible young voter has an opportunity to have their voice heard. Young people have a vested interest in Oregon’s future and should be able to register and cast their vote free from barriers.”
Oregon became the first state in the nation to pass automatic voter registration when Governor Kate Brown signed the legislation into law. Since the passage of Oregon’s law, 17 states and the District of Columbia have adopted some form of automatic voter registration legislation. Governor Brown celebrated the new report that illustrated the success that automatic voter registration and pre-registration policies have had in registering and empowering eligible young people to vote.
The new report from CAP and Generation Progress highlights the important role automatic voter registration and the pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds play in facilitating voter participation among young people who are often disenfranchised by cumbersome voter registration rules. Among the key findings of the report: In Oregon, more than 77,800 16- and 17-year-olds pre-registered and updated their voter information through the state’s automatic voter registration program between 2016 and 2018.
Governor Brown reiterated her defending democracy agenda and called on other states to join her efforts. At the event, Generation Progress also unveiled a new youth voter story bank. “Our Voice, Our Vote” will serve as a tool to collect real anecdotes from real people and show lawmakers across the country the challenges that young people face when exercising their right to vote.