CONTACT: Isabela Villarreal, firstname.lastname@example.org
Today the Oregon House passed HB 3291, which will allow for ballots to be accepted if they are mailed by Election Day.
As an organization that builds political power and strong, effective leadership pipelines for diverse young people we strongly support updating postmark date for ballots. We’re heartened by the Legislature’s continued dedication to common-sense upgrades that preserve the integrity of our elections, expand accessibility, and are pro-voter. There are Oregonians who become non-voters and don’t cast their ballots because they think they are too late to mail the ballot, and dropping off their ballots is a barrier due to mobility/transportation, lack of available dropbox locations, confusion over mailing deadlines. It’s hard for us to quantify deterred votes, but we can eliminate this situation by clarifying the deadline by which ballots must be received. HB 3291 is a simple and effective fix for this issue and one that our neighbors in Washington state already enjoy.
Our democracy must continue to be pushed forward by passing policies that make our election system more equitable. While the passage of this bill through the Oregon House is necessary, this is just one of many important pro-voter pieces of legislation proposed in this legislative session. We hope to see the legislature continue to invest in voters through HB 2499 which will modernize voter registration, HB 2679 which will allow 17-year-olds to participate in the primary election if they are 18 by Election Day, and SB 571 which will restore the right to vote to those that are currently incarcerated.