I'd like to know what you all think about this piece of news! I might be a little ahead of myself, but I find it pretty exciting.
Here's the article. And to sum it all up, the governor of Oregon (Kate Brown) signed the nation's first law that will automatically register you to vote when you get a driver's license or state identification card. Awesome!
She supported this measure for a number of reasons. One, everyone should be able to vote, and it shouldn't take an obscene amount of effort to register to vote, to get a license, to get your taxes--why so many forms and so many agencies? Two, it should encourage people to vote while also placing more responsibility on the government to help people remember to do so. The new systems will send out ballots to those registered (Oregon has already been doing all mail voting for years), and it will also help people who change their address receive their ballots more easily by changing it at just one office, rather than needing to remember to change their address everywhere.
There were people who opposed: not a single Republican in the House voted to pass it. Why? Due to privacy concerns and because they "wondered why it mattered to make registration to vote easier." (seriously.)
Personally, I am against mandated voting--while I do believe that for us to be a true democracy, people have to vote, I also believe that it is the right or an individual to make a point by abstaining from the vote. Some say this should extend to not having to be registered, but I disagree. I think you should be required to voice your refusal to accept any candidate by voting "none of the above" on a ballot as well. How else can we prove indifference from making a statement?
And so, I support this measure. To me, there is no reason why we shouldn't all be registered to vote, and why it shouldn't be easier. Our municipalities, local and state governments already gather a lot of information about us, and while I have my privacy concerns, they are already doing it, and if that's how it's going to be, we should use it effectively to continue to grow our nation with leaders we can support. The measures needed to keep our information private should already be in place, and by coordinating the systems and forms we need to keep track of, things can be more cost-effective, too.
I know people who "can't be bothered to register" that have genuine political views (don't get me started on the fact that they don't care enough to register, though).
Voting shouldn't be difficult. Oregon is making it easier and easier, step by step. If we want to be a true government of the people, we should all follow them.