By News-Register staff • 

State to mail 900,000 voter-registration reminders

By JONATHAN J. COOPER
Of the Associated Press

SALEM — Nearly 900,000 Oregonians who have a driver's license or state identification card but aren't registered to vote will soon get a postcard reminding them to register.

The secretary of state's office says the postcards will go out on Monday. Officials say they're required to comply with the requirements of a multistate consortium that seeks to clean up voter rolls and expand participation. Oregon joined it last year.

The postcards say “it appears you may not be registered to vote” and direct people to a website where they can register. The deadline to participate in the November election is Oct. 14.

There will be people who are registered who still receive the cards because information in their voter registration, such as their birthday, doesn't match their driver's license, said Tony Green, a spokesman for the secretary of state's office. Those voters are still eligible to cast a ballot, but they are encouraged to update their voter registration so election officials can maintain clean records.

Seven states formed the Electronic Registration Information Center in 2012. Three more, including Oregon, and the District of Columbia have since joined. The consortium collects data from the states, helping them identify voters who have moved, and death records from the Social Security Administration to flag people who have died.

States joining the consortium agree to mail postcards at least once every two years to people who appear eligible to vote but unregistered. The success rate has ranged from 3 to 10 percent, said John Lindback, a former Oregon elections chief who is now the consortium's executive director.

“If you talk to people who are in the business of direct mail and trying to encourage people to do something through direct mail, they would consider those healthy responses,” Lundback said.

Secretary of State Kate Brown, a Democrat in her second term, tried unsuccessfully to persuade state lawmakers to automatically register people to vote based on DMV records. The postcards are unrelated to Brown's legislative effort and aren't an attempt to help Democrats, Green said.

“Everyone has an interest in clean voter rolls no matter what party you're in,” he said.

The secretary of state's office estimates that the mailing will cost $123,000. A grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts will cover 75 percent, leaving the state's tab at $31,000, Green said.

There are six versions of the postcards. A research group funded by Pew will study which cards get the best response.

Comments

listen*up

hopefully they won't make an oops my bad and send them to people they know are not legal to vote,watch dogs should be scrutinizing this closely,I smell democrat rats scrounging for votes,any fraud should come with jail time.

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