In past elections, thousands of Oregonians were not sent ballots because they were placed under “inactive” status when they did not vote or update their registration within five years.
According to Secretary Richardson’s office, prior Secretaries of State interpreted Oregon law as requiring voters to be moved to “inactive” status following five years of inactivity.
The actual text of the law states “inactive” status comes after “a period of no less than five years.” Therefore, Secretary Richardson has decided to extend the time before voters become “inactive” to ten years. The Secretary of State’s office said that action will reactivate 30,000 additional Oregon voters.
In addition, and estimated 30,000 voters will become “active” after cross-checking DMV and Elections Division records, according to the Secretary of State.
“Every Oregonian who is eligible to vote should be able to vote,” said Secretary Richardson. “This change will protect or restore the voting rights of Oregonians serving our country on military deployments, college students, and voters frustrated with the political system.”