STATEMENT: “A Victory for Democracy”: Institute for Responsive Government Applauds Passage of Voter Registration Medicaid Expansion in Oregon
The measure would help register many of the 171,000 Oregonians on the Oregon Health Plan who are eligible but not registered to vote
For Immediate Release:
June 26, 2023
SALEM, Oregon — Earlier today, the Oregon legislature passed HB 2107, which would expand the state’s ‘motor voter’ secure automatic voter registration (SAVR) system beyond the DMV to include the Oregon Public Health Authority.
There are currently some 171,000 Oregonians on the Oregon Public Health Plan who are eligible but not registered to vote. Oregon joins seven other states — Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Maryland, Washington — and the District of Columbia in extending voter registration services to Medicaid agencies.
Sam Oliker-Friedland, executive director of the Institute for Responsive Government, issued the following statement:
“The passage of this bill is a clear victory for democracy and a testament to the hard work and unbending will of pro-voter champions in the state Legislature.
“Historically, there’s been a distinct correlation between socioeconomic status and voter participation rates — those who are economically disadvantaged are much less likely to cast a ballot come Election Day. Causation for low participation rates can be in part credited to poor registration access, which drives the need for SAVR solutions at government agencies outside of the DMV. The passage of HB 2107 does just that by expanding SAVR to Medicaid offices in Oregon.
“Because of these efforts, almost all of the 171,000 eligible unregistered Oregonians who are on the Oregon Health Plan will have another secure, convenient way to register to vote and have their voices heard come Election Day.
“The Institute for Responsive Government applauds the Office of the Oregon Secretary of State, House Majority Leader Fahey, Senate Majority Leader Leiber, and Senate Pro Tempore Manning on their efforts to get this bill over the finish line prior to the end of Oregon’s legislative session. We recognize that Oregon has a long history of pro-voter policies, spanning administrations of both parties, striving for decades to improve the security, efficiency and accessibility of their elections. The passage of this bill keeps with this tradition, affirming the state’s longstanding commitment to democracy and to upholding a government that is responsive to its people.”
To speak with subject matter experts about Oregon’s adoption of AVR expansion, please contact email@example.com.
The Institute for Responsive Government is a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to ensuring state and federal governments work effectively for the very people they serve. IRG provides data, research, and expertise to elected officials in order to find practical policy solutions that make government systems more efficient, accessible, and responsive.