In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), along with Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) reintroduced this bill, which they first introduced in 2016, to give all American voters casting ballots in federal elections the
ability to do what those in his home state are able to do — vote by mail:
home state of Oregon has led the nation in making voting more
accessible. No one has to take time off work just to exercise his or her
constitutional rights. My proposition is the rest of our country should
follow Oregon’s lead and offer all voters a chance to vote by mail.”
Parts of this bill are included in the House Democrats' reform bill, H.R. 1, the For the People Act. Upon that bill's introduction, Sen. Wyden praised its inclusion of vote-by-mail:
“The House is doing the right thing by recognizing the value of vote-by-mail and the Senate should follow its lead. Last November, once again, voters across the nation faced unacceptable barriers just to have their ballots counted. This administration and special interests want to make voting harder so they can advance an anti-democratic agenda that rewards the powerful and hurts regular Americans. Our bill sweeps away artificial roadblocks to voting and makes it easier for everyone to have their voice heard in Washington, D.C.”
There are 14 cosponsors of this bill in the 116th Congress, including 13 Democrats and one Republican. In the 115th Congress, this legislation had the support of 19 cosponsors, including 18 Democrats and one Independent.
Of Note: Oregon became the first state in the U.S. to exclusively use vote by mail in 2000, following the passage of an initiative with the support of 69 percent of voters. Since then it has had among the highest voter turnout rates of all states.
Media:Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Clipdude / Creative Commons)