Senator Wyden, NAACP, And Voting Rights Advocates Push "Vote By Mail"

Oct 31, 2016

Oregon is one of only three states that vote by mail.  Now one of its senators wants to make that a national practice.  KLCC’s Brian Bull has more: 

U.S. Democratic Senator Ron Wyden (r) with local civil rights advocates and leaders outside Eugene's historic Mims House.
Credit Brian Bull

With a week left before ballots are due, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden is pushing his “Vote By Mail Act of 2016”.  It’s been introduced in the senate.  Wyden says if passed, it would help Americans who may not have time to go to the polls.

“Working parents very often are working two, three jobs. And they can’t afford to take a day off and go vote," says Wyden.  He adds limited access "definitely, disproportionally hits minorities and young people and working families.” 

Eric Richardson, President of the Eugene-Springfield chapter of the NAACP agrees.  He says some states have tried implementing voter ID requirements, that can disenfranchise minorities, students, and the elderly.  

Eric Richardson, President of the Eugene-Springfield NAACP, expressing support for Wyden's "Vote By Mail Act of 2016".
Credit Brian Bull

Richardson says voting by mail also frees up more time for those who want to make informed choices.

“Even having the time to consider the issues and really be thoughtful about it is very helpful," says Richardson.  "And being at home and being surrounded by your family, and being able to consider these issues and to vote on your own schedule is also helpful for families, and young people who are moving a lot as well.” 

Senator Wyden says he’d like members of Congress to take up his bill after Election Day.