House Passes Massive Elections Reform Bill That Would Expand Oregon’s Vote-at-Home System Nationwide, Enact Automatic Voter Registration

March 3, 2021
Press Release

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a massive elections reform bill supported by U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) to protect and expand voting rights, restore integrity to government, and stop the flood of unlimited amounts of undisclosed money from influencing elections. The sweeping legislation includes provisions secured by Blumenauer to bring Oregon’s vote-at-home model nationwide and enact automatic voter registration.

“I’ve been working to make it easier for people to vote since I led the campaign in Oregon to lower the voting age as a college student. It continues to be a hard fight, as access to the ballot is under serious threat across the country,” Blumenauer said. “Dozens of Republican state legislatures are actively trying to make it harder for Americans to vote by gerrymandering them into unrepresentative districts and undercutting the ability of people to select their elected officials, rather than elected officials selecting their voters. It’s despicable. We should be making it easier to vote, not harder.”

The For the People Act (H.R. 1) passed the House as Republicans continue to file voter suppression bills at an alarming rate. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, as of February 19 of this year, state lawmakers in 43 states have carried over, prefiled, or introduced 253 bills with provisions that restrict voting access.

The legislation approved today would prevent such attacks on our democracy by:

  • Expanding automatic voter registration and same day registration.
  • Strengthening vote by mail, early voting and ballot access.
  • Combating voter intimidation and voter suppression.
  • Protecting elections from foreign interference.
  • Restoring voting rights for felons.
  • Fixing partisan gerrymandering.
  • Promoting digital ad transparency.
  • Forcing disclosure of dark money.
  • Reining in lobbyist influence.
  • Enforcing ethics and conflict of interest rules for all government officials.
  • Empowering small donors with matching funds paid for by lawbreakers, not taxpayers.

Key provisions involving vote by mail and automatic voter registration are based on the Vote at Home Act, legislation previously introduced by Blumenauer and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) to ensure voters have the option to vote at home.

Today’s legislation would have a massive impact on voting access in the United States. Specifically, the legislation is estimated to:

  • Add 50 million new voters and increase turnout by 3.2 million Americans.
  • Stop voter purges like those that removed 30 million names from 2014 to 2018.
  • Restore voting rights of 4 million formerly incarcerated individuals, including 1.7 million Black and Latino citizens.
  • Expand vote-by-mail access to more than 76 million people.

Full text of H.R. 1 can be found here.