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Vote at Home. Every Year. 🗳️

I started my journey in politics working on lowering the voting age in Oregon and across the country. After all, the right to vote is the most sacred and fundamental right we have.

Since that first day, I have continued to tirelessly champion efforts like voting from home and automatic voter registration — rights that have become commonplace in Oregon in local elections since the 1980s, and for federal elections since the 1990s. In fact, as we Oregonians proudly know, our state was the first in the nation to conduct a presidential election entirely by mail — with over 80 percent participation, significantly higher than the national average.

Even as our state has achieved an easier, more accessible participation in our democracy, my fight to improve voting rights nationwide continues on today. Our democracy works best when we make it easier to vote, not harder. But throughout this year, we've seen Republicans attack voting access across the nation.

While Georgia or Texas' recent extreme measures — ranging from forbidding giving water to those waiting in line to cutting polling places in majority communities of color — have garnered national attention, the reality is 18 states and counting have enacted laws to make voting harder just this year, as Trump-obsessed lawmakers seek to punish voters of color who delivered President Biden's victory.

In fact, according to the independent Brennan Center for Justice, more than 400 anti-voting laws have been introduced in 49 state legislatures this year.

Our fight is far from over, but my friend Ron Wyden and I have a solution: A national vote-at-home program. We're leading the movement in Congress to finally create a national vote-at-home system like we have in Oregon, where elections have been safe and secure for three decades. This effort has already passed the House earlier this year, and it's critical the Senate votes on its passage.

In addition to ending racist voter suppression tactics, this effort would protect our elections from the excesses of partisan gerrymandering, significantly helping promote racial equity at the ballot box.

And guess what? It's cheaper for taxpayers. A bipartisan task force in Oregon, and repeated audits since, have found statewide vote-by-mail to be one of the most significant opportunities to save money on conducting elections. Meanwhile, Republican-led states like Arizona spent nearly $6 million to audit polling places in Democratic-majority counties alone.

It is critical that we not let up, and make sure these and other efforts to enable voting access make it through Congress, as voters denied anywhere is a threat to voters everywhere. We must ensure every eligible American can vote, and that those votes are protected. And that starts by making the Oregon way the national way, and codifying vote-by-mail.



P.S. We have a critical end-of-quarter fundraising deadline this Thursday. Every dollar you contribute now that allows us to prepare for next November will be even more effective than contributions closer to the election. Would you consider donating $3 today to support our efforts to defend and expand our pro-participation, pro-democracy House Democratic majority?

Posted on September 28, 2021.