March 1, 2010

Oregon Offers Online Voter Registration

OREGONIANS CAN register to vote online starting today as Oregon becomes the fourth state in the nation to offer voters an electronic path to the polls.

The online registration system, which cost the state about $200,000 to set up, will be a cheaper, more secure and more accurate way to reach more voters, particularly the housebound, elderly and out-of-state members of the military, said Secretary of State Kate Brown. It also should attract more young voters who spend more time on the Internet, she said.

"One of my chief goals is to reduce barriers to people participating in the democratic process," she said.

She expects the online option will increase the portion of eligible voters who register, particularly those under 25. The state estimates about 77 percent of eligible voters are registered, leaving about 600,000 still unregistered. Minnesota and Maine have the highest registration rate in the nation at 80 percent.

Oregon adults can register online beginning 9 a.m. Monday by going to the Internet site: They will be required to have a valid Oregon driver's license, permit or identification card. For those who register online, the signatures on their driver's licenses, permits or ID cards will serve as the signatures for voter registration cards. Those signatures will be checked to validate mail ballots in elections.

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