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Wyden, Blumenauer Push National 'Vote At Home' Act

Brian Bull

Two Democratic members of Congress from Oregon are introducing a bill that would allow voters nationwide to fill out their ballots at home.

The measure from Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Portland, and Sen. Ron Wyden would require elections officials to mail a ballot to all registered voters. It would also provide funding to pay for the postage required to mail and return ballots.

Wyden has introduced similar legislation before, but he said he’s more optimistic about its passage this time around. 

“I really feel that this is different, because what the pandemic showed is that you could protect public safety, you could expand the franchise, you could do it in a way that protected election integrity,” he said. 

Wyden noted that despite the efforts of President Donald Trump to overturn the election, the dozens of court cases that his legal team filed failed to show any proof that voting by mail is susceptible to fraud.

"I think we've got a lot of fresh evidence supporting what we're trying to do," said Wyden.The bill would also require states to automatically register eligible voters when they visit their state’s DMV.  In 2016, Oregon became the first state in the nation to use this system. Now, 20 states and the District of Columbia use a similar method of registering voters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Wyden’s bill has 13 Democratic co-sponsors in the Senate, including Washington Senator Maria Cantwell.  
Copyright 2021 KLCC.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”