Oregon Motor Voter Act FAQ
Starting Jan. 1, 2016 Oregon's voter registration law, Oregon Motor Voter, took effect.
Oregon Motor Voter is modernizing voter registration in Oregon by providing a secure, simple, and convenient way for more Oregonians to become registered voters.
Under the old system, most Oregonians needed to take a
separate step to register to vote at the DMV after obtaining or renewing their
driver license. This new law makes voter registration automatic, shifting from
an opt-in process to an opt-out process. The new law eliminates the need to
fill out the voter registration card for those with qualifying interactions at
the DMV. Instead, eligible Oregonians will receive a mailing from the Oregon
Elections Division explaining their options for registering to vote.
A qualifying interaction is when an eligible unregistered
voter (over 17 years old, an Oregon resident, and a US citizen) visits the DMV
to apply for, renew, or replace an Oregon drivers’ license, ID card, or permit.
Starting June 10, 2016 the Oregon Secretary of State will
implement the 2nd of two phases of the OMV program. “Phase II” will give
roughly 145,000 Oregonians who had qualifying interactions at an Oregon DMV in
2014 or 2015 the opportunity to become automatically registered to vote. These
Oregonians will receive a letter and OMV card advising them of their options to
participate in OMV.
With the Oregon Motor Voter card, you have three options:
- Do nothing. You will be registered to vote as a nonaffiliated voter (not a member of a political party).
- Choose a political party by returning the card. Joining a political party will allow you to vote in its primary elections.
- Use the card to opt-out and decline to register to vote.
No. The default is that you will be registered as a
nonaffiliated voter (not a member of a political party). The Oregon Motor Voter
notification (OMV Card)
you receive in the mail will give you the option of
affiliating with a party.
Opting out is simple. The Elections Division will send you information on Oregon Motor Voter that explains your automatic voter registration options. If you don’t want to be registered, just check the box on the OMV Card to opt out, sign it, and drop it in the mail. A pre-paid postage envelope is included with your OMV letter.
You have 21 days from the date the OMV Card is sent to
respond; otherwise you will be automatically registered to vote. However, you
can unregister at any time after that by contacting your county clerk’s office in
writing or in person.
The bill has a robust opt-out provision. Plus, registered
voters can unregister at any time by requesting that their registration be
You only need to opt out once. We will not register you again unless you change your mind. If you do change your mind, you can register to vote either online or by filling out a paper registration form.
Phase II FAQs
Oregon implemented a first-of-its-kind automatic voter registration program at the beginning of 2016. Phase I of the OMV involved getting the program up and running by automatically registering Oregonians following visits to the DMV after Jan. 1, 2016.
Starting June 10, 2016 Phase II of the program will be implemented. This means roughly 145,000 Oregonians who visited the DMV in 2014 or 2015, who are eligible to vote, and who are not already registered to vote will receive an OMV mailer giving them the opportunity to become automatically registered to vote.
Oregon is the 1st
state in the U.S. to implement an automatic voter registration program. We implemented the project in two phases to ensure a successful launch of this pioneering program. Phase I started
1, 2016, for voters who interacted with DMV on or after that date.
This allowed us to phase-in the project with a relatively small number of voters to ensure the project is working as intended.
Now that Phase I has successfully launched, we are ready to implement Phase II for people who interacted with the DMV in 2014 and 2015. We are implementing Phase II in June after the May primary because we wanted to have a few months of experience with Phase I before moving to Phase II.
The Secretary of State limited Phase II to transaction from 2014 and 2015 to ensure the most reliable and up-to-date data was used to register voters.
Questions about Voting Security