As Republican lawmakers across the U.S. move to make it harder for voters to cast ballots by mail, we look at Oregon’s long history of vote-by-mail. Oregon, where 92% of residents are now registered to vote, was the first state in the country to institute voting by mail and to establish automatic voter registration in an effort to “ensure access to this very fundamental right,” says Oregon’s Democratic Governor Kate Brown, who is also the national chair of Vote from Home. The nationwide crackdown on voting rights is taking place because “Republicans don’t want to hear voices” of Black, Brown, Indigenous people and women, Brown says. “We have to hold these legislators who voted for these racist policies … accountable.”
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