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Oregon Legislature Passes Law to Expand Voting Rights

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon celebrated passage of HB 2177 — known as the “New Motor Voter bill” — that will remove barriers for state residents to register to vote. HB 2177 will streamline Oregon’s current voter registration process between the Secretary of State’s Office and the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

“When you make it convenient to vote, people participate,” said Laura Terrill Patten, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon. “We are thrilled about the passage of this bill and the opportunity to get a ballot in the hands of all eligible Oregon voters. While other states are rolling back access to voting rights and women’s health, Oregon continues to lead the way by making voter registration more accessible, more accurate and more secure.”

HB 2177 will allow further integration of data collected at the DMV with the Secretary of State’s database for processing voter registrations. This law makes voter registration convenient and more secure by using the data DMV currently collects for drivers’ licenses to offer simple and accurate voter registration to eligible voters and updating address information for people already registered. The goal is to make voter registration more secure and convenient for Oregon voters.

“Voting is a fundamental right that should not only be protected, but made more accessible,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “At a time when the nation is reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act, there’s still much more to be done to make this basic right available to everyone.  Congress must act to fix the Supreme Court’s decision to gut a key provision of this important law. Oregon’s actions today are a step in the right direction, and we hope other states will follow suit.”