We’re dismantling structural barriers for a more representative democracy
Because of our work, 93.7% of eligible Oregonian’s are registered to vote.
Believing in the power of the youth vote has led us to massive victories. Since 2007, Next Up has championed policies to redesign our elections system in order to breakdown systemic barriers and amplify marginalized communities. These efforts have helped make Oregon the #1 easiest state to vote in, with 90.2% of the state registered to vote. We passed online voter registration, the nation’s first automatic voter registration (AVR) law, created a pre-registration program for 16 and 17-year-olds, passed Paid Postage for ballots, and have championed accessibility and language improvements.
By passing paid postage, voting is finally free in Oregon, with every single mailbox becoming a dropbox. This reform will help ensure there’s a ballot in the hands of every eligible voter, and that everyone participates. Signed into law on August 2nd, 2019, it is estimated that this bill will increase voter turnout by an astonishing 5-10%!
We prioritized bills that were rooted in racial, economic, and youth justice, and more specifically, ones that would break down systemic barriers to participation, and increase equitable processes and outcomes in elections. In the 2021 legislative session, we helped pass updating the postmark date to election day for ballots (HB 3291), the voter language access act (HB 3021), and civics education standards updates (SB 702).
The Bus Federation independently incorporated and officially launched as separate entity. Launched state task force to improve the distribution of voting materials in languages other than English, led by CAUSA and the Bus Project; Led advocacy coalition for automatic voter registration, passing the House in the first year of advocacy.
Led the coalition that passed House Bill 2177, the Oregon Motor Voter Bill, the first Automatic Voter Registration bill in the country. Joined together with then-Rep. Lew Frederick and New Approach Oregon to push for the expungement of low-level marijuana-related convictions.
Passed reform with the OSA to add additional drop box locations on college campuses. In the first months of OMV/AVR, nearly 100,000 Oregonians were added to the voter rolls. To help educate new voters and encourage them to vote, the Bus partnered with The Oregon League of Conservation Voters Education Fund to do a multi layered voter mobilization effort through door and phone contact to increase turnout among these new, largely low-propensity voters. We also won the creation of the Open & Accountable Elections public campaign funding program at the City of Portland in a large coalition effort.
Recognizing the impact of automatic voter registration and the infrequency with which Oregonians access the DMV, we decided to expand pre-registration to 16-year-olds. We won in the legislature and as of January 1, 2018, all eligible 16 and 17 year-olds can register to vote. According to Oregon’s Secretary of State office, 195,500 16 and 17-year-olds have pre-registered to vote.
One of the biggest barriers to voting is registration. By getting 16 and 17-year-olds registered to vote before they turn 18, we’re helping build good habits and strong voters. We led the charge for pre-registration in 2007, securing pre-registration for 17-year-olds.
Formed the Bus Federation (now the Alliance for Youth) as a part of the Bus Project, developing a national hub for youth organizing.
Passed online voter registration and voter registration accessibility requirements for all high schools in Oregon, through a legislative campaign coordinated by Youth Vote Coalition (Bus, Oregon Student Association, & OSPIRG). This was also the year that the idea for Automatic Voter Registration was born.
Won creation of the state National Voter Registration Compliance Act, focused on improving voter registration at public assistance agencies, in collaboration with Oregon Common Cause.