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Report: Millennial Voter Registration in Oregon Soars

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is highlighting a new report that says the state's unique voter registration program has led to a surge of millennial voters.

Posted: Feb 21, 2019 11:56 AM
Updated: Feb 21, 2019 1:28 PM

By SARAH ZIMMERMAN , Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday touted the success of the state's unique automatic voter registration program, pointing to a new report that argues the "Oregon model" could be key to engaging millennial voters nationwide.

The study by the nonprofit Center for American Progress found that voter registration numbers among youths have soared since Oregon switched to an automatic registration model in 2016. The law registers eligible voters when they apply for a driver's license.

More than 390,000 Oregonians were registered under the program in 2017, and half of those voters were under the age of 40.

The report also noted the success of the state's pre-registration program for 16- and 17-year- olds. Nearly a quarter of those who pre-registered and reached voting age before the 2018 election turned out to vote, the study said.

"I tell young people: if 90% of the people who are voting are over the age of 65, then that's who candidates listen to," Brown, a Democrat, tweeted on Thursday. "If we get more young people out to vote, it will absolutely change the issues candidates are focused on."

The report comes as the state considers changing its constitution to lower the voting age to 16, an idea that's expected to be met with stiff opposition.

But the Center for American Progress suggests that the state's current registration system could be a possible solution in engaging millennial voters, who comprise the largest electoral bloc but commonly don't turn out for elections.

If automatic registration were implemented nationwide, the report estimates there could be 22 million newly registered voters in the first year alone, with 7.9 million expected to cast a ballot.

Oregon was the first state in the country to implement automatic voter registration. Fourteen other states and the District of Columbia have since implemented similar laws.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 66333

Reported Deaths: 826
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah15240213
Washington903896
Marion8436130
Clackamas547276
Umatilla415648
Lane389037
Jackson343623
Malheur231839
Deschutes195514
Yamhill158216
Linn127518
Polk107615
Douglas82215
Jefferson77311
Benton7197
Union7172
Klamath6854
Morrow6257
Lincoln56513
Wasco47918
Josephine4434
Columbia4383
Coos3901
Hood River3661
Clatsop3350
Baker2593
Crook1986
Grant1231
Tillamook1120
Curry1052
Lake1010
Harney871
Wallowa702
Sherman230
Gilliam210
Wheeler30
Unassigned00

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Reported Deaths: 18753
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Los Angeles3706367446
San Bernardino851761129
Riverside815651413
San Diego72815968
Orange711161554
Kern38519445
Fresno36315471
Sacramento33421546
Santa Clara31103464
Alameda27622499
San Joaquin24649503
Contra Costa22482258
Stanislaus20658418
Tulare19818303
Ventura18105174
Imperial15257355
San Francisco14542158
Monterey13887114
San Mateo13334169
Sonoma11486155
Merced10986176
Santa Barbara10946133
Kings1011586
Solano936380
Marin7560128
Placer607167
Madera588580
San Luis Obispo566435
Yolo425775
Shasta410042
Santa Cruz389627
Butte371259
Napa277817
Sutter267713
El Dorado19304
San Benito174615
Yuba173210
Lassen14803
Tehama145723
Mendocino142422
Nevada10529
Lake83418
Glenn8326
Humboldt7849
Tuolumne7848
Colusa6426
Mono4993
Siskiyou4951
Amador45016
Calaveras43421
Inyo27916
Del Norte2731
Plumas1770
Modoc1140
Trinity1140
Mariposa1122
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