#PreRegattheLeg update!

BREAKING

SB 802, Pre- voter registration for 16 year-olds, passes out of the Senate with a 19-10 vote and now heads to the House. Take action right now and let the House now we want pre-voter registration for 16 year olds.

Can you take action right now?

Call your representative *

* Follow up with an email *

* Chip in $5 a month to make sure we can continue to champion voter access *

Thank you to those who sponsored and voted in favor of this critical legislation: 

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Have a felony conviction and want to vote?

Head on over to Multnomah County elections office website and learn about your rights.

Then register to vote at beregistered.org and tell a friend.

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This is not a drill.

This is not a drill.

We need your help. SB 683 and SB 802, our bills that would pre-pay postage on ballots and would allow 16 year olds to pre-register to vote have both been scheduled for a work sessionthis Wednesday at 1 pm!

This is big. This means voter access is starting to move forward this legislative session. But we need your help. Legislators need to hear your support.

Can you take action today? Let your legislators know we need their support on paid postage and pre-voter registration for 16 year olds.

Wanna do more? Chip in $5 a month to make sure we can continue to champion voter access.
We had a super great last Thursday on our bill to allow 16 year olds to pre-register to vote! Our volunteers Maya Seiber, Magwyer Grimes, and Clark Shimeall from Sprague and Corvallis High Schools all provided poignant and compelling testimony in support.
Thank you Maya, Magwyer, and Clark for making your voices heard!
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Data nerds

Over here at Team Bus,

We’re big data nerds. We love the numbers. We love the stats.

If we passed SB802, these are the folks that would be automatically registered to vote. If you break it down by county to county, it’s an interesting look. If you take out the big urban areas: Washington, Clackamas, Multnomah– most of the new registrants would be in rural counties.

County Count
Baker 91
Benton 448
Clackamas 2,538
Clatsop 177
Columbia 271
Coos 244
Crook 148
Curry 101
Deschutes 1,308
Douglas 561
Gilliam 9
Grant 41
Harney 45
Hood River 217
Jackson 1,247
Jefferson 105
Josephine 426
Klamath 326
Lake 52
Lane 1,565
Lincoln 163
Linn 691
Malheur 195
Marion 1,540
Morrow 72
Multnomah 2,105
Polk 460
Sherman 14
Tillamook 126
Umatilla 495
Union 170
Wallowa 50
Wasco 137
Washington 3,030
Wheeler 6
Yamhill 544
None 5
Total 19,723
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ACTION NEEDED

King County Washington just did an experiment around pre-paid postage in their February special election. It showed a big increase in participation. In previous special elections turnout was 30% and in Maple Valley it went to 37% and in Shoreline School District it went up to 40%.

Here in Oregon when we talk to some leaders in Salem we hear about how this isn’t an issue. One Senator even took to the floor to mock the bill and say that young people are lazy.

When we knock on doors, we often hear very different stories.

We heard from Charles,  a disabled veteran and first-time voter who didn’t have a stamp and couldn’t drop off his ballot in person. We wish we could knock on every disabled veteran’s door, but we can’t. We know there are many people like Charles whose voices are going unheard who served and protected our right to vote.

For folks currently serving, it’s even worse. Oregon was ranked the 5th worst state for military overseas ballot access and shows that 74% of ballots for this group of people goes unreturned. If you’re in a non-combat zone in the military, you’re required to put a stamp on your ballot.

We heard from first-time parents Bobby and Jenna from Albany who submitted their ballots without postage and got them back because of insufficient funds. This issue impacts first time parents.

 There are countless other stories like these.

We also know this impacts rural Oregonians. A former chair of the Republican Party even said this was an issue that impacted rural Republican Oregonians. He said they have to drive 50, 60, 70 miles to drop off their ballot.

We have heard from disability rights advocates that talk about the barriers people with visual disabilities face because they are required to provide additional postage on their ballot if it’s a heavier ballot.

We heard from new first-time voters who didn’t yet know how to vote, but deeply cared about the elections and the outcomes. We even did polling and found out that 42% of new registrants under Oregon Motor Voter do not have a postage stamp, but many feel that it is their civic duty to vote and understand the importance of elections.

We have heard from working Oregonians who often work multiple jobs and don’t have the privilege to take off during the day to get a book of stamps.

So, when people take to the floor to mock barriers to access or talk about how lazy people are for not finding a stamp, we want them to hear these stories.

We believe the people of Oregon should be free from barriers to the ballot box. We believe Oregonians care about the future of our state and should be allowed the opportunity to cast their ballot and ensure their voice matters regardless of whether they live in rural Oregon, are stationed in North Carolina, have a visual disability, are a disabled veteran, or are a first-time parent or a first-time voter. The voice of every Oregonian matters. And here at the Bus, that’s why we fight.

You can also chip in $5 a month to make sure we can continue to champion voter access.
(PS, our awesome high school volunteers, pictured above, testified on Monday and we’re in the Capitol again tomorrow–come find us!)
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#preregattheleg

Did you see the news?

We had such a successful hearing on Monday that we’re back in Salem today for a Democracy Day of Action in the Capitol.

We’re meeting with legislators and asking them to support our bill to allow 16-year-olds to pre-register to vote.

Sounds like a no-brainer, right? We think so, but…. We need your help. If you can’t join the 100+ Bus Volunteers  in Salem today, you can still help us lobby our elected officials to vote yes on Senate Bill 802.

Will you please click here to email your Senator and tell them to support our bill?

How cool would it be if Oregon passed 16-year-old pre-registration exactly 10 years after we allowed 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote? We had almost unanimous support on this legislation and we’re hoping to get there again with your help.

PRETTY COOL.

Almost 20,000 16-year-olds get their drivers licenses every year in Oregon. Lets make sure they get registered. Like we’ve been saying for the past 10 years–voter registration is the biggest impediment to voting and we’re fighting to remove those barriers. 10 states and the District of Columbia all have prereg for 16-year-olds. It really bums us out that Florida is better on this issue then Oregon. Let’s fix this! Take action.

Couldn’t make it to Salem but want to help? Donate $10 bucks for lunch for a participant on our lobby day. Follow #preregattheleg to watch our democracy lobby day in action.

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National Popular Vote

We’ve supported the national popular vote bill for nearly every single legislative session it has been introduce.

We’re hoping you step up today and take action to alert your Oregon State Senators and Representatives to support this legislation. We can make a difference.

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Decline To Sign!

Trump-aligned politicians are circulating a ballot measure to cancel every single voter registration in Oregon – including yours. Take action to stop them today.
The day after the November election, we saw racist, vote suppressing politicians file an outrageous and ridiculous ballot measure get filed. This week we found out they’ve already started getting signatures.
If you haven’t heard about it, the Willamette Week just wrote a story outlining the batsh*t bananas voter suppression law.
Inline image 1.
Representative Nearman (who seems to get most of his ideas from Donald Trump) wants to cancel every voter registration & make every Oregonian register again. He has no evidence of problems with our voting system. Thanks to automatic voter registration we have the most secure, modern, and efficient voting system in the country – and the biggest turnout growth of any state in 2016. Nearman wants to end all that – and cancel every voter registration in the process.
Make no mistake about it– this proposed ballot measure is the most extreme and desperate attempt at voter suppression in Oregon we’ve ever seen. It would literally kick every single Oregon voter off the rolls – millions of citizens – and force every single Oregonian to take a special trip to see the government and prove themselves in order to get their right to vote back.
This proposal would hurt every Oregonians and won’t solve a single problem.
Let’s be clear – if you live in Oregon, this proposal would cancel your voter registration and that of everyone you know. It sounds absurd, because it is. We know this would impact working families, rural Oregonians, students, and communities of color the most. And we don’t think this type of suppression has any place within Oregon. That’s why we’re launching our
Take the Decline to Sign pledge. Share it with your friends. We know Oregonians love our voting system. I can’t imagine any Oregonian would enjoy their voting rights and those of their friends and family being attacked just to satisfy some paranoid conspiracies.
 
What else can you do? 
 
Take action. Get involved. During the legislative session, we’re introducing a number of bills that could have a big impact on increasing access for all eligible citizens. Unlike, Representative Nearman, we think democracy works best when all eligible voters are able to participate free from barriers. Come to our lobby day .
 
Keep us informed. If you see petition collectors at your local grocery market or outside the post office, tell us. Tweet @busproject or  info@busproject.org with where it is and/or send a picture of the gatherer. Tell us anything and everything you can about the incident. We want to be sure to monitor the signature gathering process and ensure they’re doing it by the books.
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Lobby Day

We think democracy is a great. And Oregon does democracy pretty well… Motor Voter, vote-by-mail, and online voter reg are a few examples of how Oregon has lead the way on voter access.

We also recognize democracy, in order to work at its best, needs a little help, a little attention and support from people like you and me. Even with these innovative voter access policies in place, there are still tons of Oregonians who face barriers to the ballot and there are still places where Oregon can improve.

That’s why this legislative session, we’re continuing to make voter access a priority with bills on:

~ Pre-voter registration for 16 year olds ~

~ Paid Postage on ballots ~

~ In-language tools for minority-language voters ~

~ National Popular Vote ~

You can take action to help ensure democracy is working for all Oregonians by joining us on March 8th for our Democracy Day of Action at the Capitol! Transportation and lunch will be provided.

What: Democracy Day of Action

When: Wednesday March 8th, 9 am – 3:30 pm

Where: Oregon State Capitol. Meet at Bus office (333 SE 2nd Ave) at 7:45 am to ride the bus down to Salem with us!

RSVP here!

Can’t join us in Salem but still wanna help out? Democracy can use all kinds of TLC– voter registration in high schools, calling state reps and senators, submitting testimony– Pledge to take action now!

Wanna make a BIG difference but can’t join us for our lobby day? Chip in $10 bucks today and buy one of our high school students a lunch. Chip in $20 bucks a month and you’ve bough lunch, breakfast and a lobby packet. OR make a larger impact and donate $10 bucks a month and make sure we can talk to legislators all year long about how essential democracy is in 2017.

Democracy needs you now more than ever.

-Team Bus <3

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Our Statement.

We’ve been asked to issue a statement on how we feel about the Oregonian article: http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/02/learning_curve_layoffs_beset_n.html#incart_river_home

Here is our statement: The Bus Project is committed to ensuring all eligible Oregonians get a ballot. We have concerns about about what Dennis Richardson’s voting record and recent actions mean for ballot access for everyone. Dennis Richardson, as state representative, has voted against a majority of our legislation priorities ensuring Oregonians are free from potential barriers. And, Dennis Richardson has recently fired, for no cause, the people responsible for implementing these access systems. The Bus Project has fought hard to ensure Oregon makes great strides in voter access, often leading the nation in reforms. Dennis Richardson’s previous votes, and his recent actions, seem to put that progress at risk. It is essential to have staff within the Elections Division as opposed to a political office who are focused on ensuring everyone in Oregon knows how to vote, when to vote, and that their vote counts, especially diverse and hard to reach communities.

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