Oregon Bucks National Trend, Rayfield Champions Voter Access Legislation

SALEM, OR – Following the 2020 Presidential Election, Republican-controlled legislatures across the country have strategically attacked voting rights and worked to reduce access to the ballot. As these organized efforts unfolded, State Representative Dan Rayfield (D – Corvallis) continued leading on voter access and campaign finance reform for Oregon’s 2021 Legislative Session.

With the passage of HB 3291, Oregon will join 17 states (plus the District of Columbia) and begin accepting ballots that are postmarked on or before Election Day. This successful expansion of Oregon’s beloved Vote by Mail system will ensure that thousands more Oregonians who take the time to vote will have their voices heard.

“As a state, we have been working towards postmarked legislation for a long time,” said Rayfield. “When someone sits down, compares candidates, and takes the time to vote, their vote should be counted all the way up to Election Day.”

In addition to strengthening Vote by Mail, Rayfield expanded on the work of former Secretary of State Dennis Richardson to protect voters from being moved to inactive status for not voting. HB 2681 also ensures that inactive voters will be notified of their inactive status ahead of primary and general elections. Additionally, the measure reactivates over 18,000 voters who have a valid address that were inactive for not voting.

In his position as co-chair of the top budget writing committee, Rayfield helped secure funding for HB 3021, which requires the Secretary of State and Oregon counties to make voters’ pamphlets available in the top five most commonly spoken languages in the state and county. This legislation is another component to ensure that all Oregonians can participate in Oregon’s democracy. Additionally, Rayfield played a key role in securing a $2.4M for counties to upgrade voting machines.

“Following the 2020 presidential election, states began rolling back voting rights at an unprecedented and alarming rate,” said Rayfield. “I am incredibly proud of Oregon for holding strong and passing voter access policies that will help ensure all voices are heard in our democracy.”