The Center Square: Oregon would be third state to guarantee prisoners right to vote under bill

This post was originally published on The Center Square.

By Tim Gruver | The Center Square

(The Center Square) — Oregon ranks among the easiest states to vote in, and state lawmakers want that to be true for everyone behind bars too.

For almost 20 years, the vote-by-mail state continues to see some of the highest voter turnout in the country. In 2020, 78.5% of Oregon voters cast 2.3 million votes or the most in state history. A bill this session would include the state's more than 12,000 prisoners among them.

Sponsored by Sen. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, Senate Bill 571 would allow the state's more than 12,000 convicted felons to register to vote, update their voter registration, and vote from prison using their last residential address.

SB 571 has big backing already from the ACLU of Oregon, the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office, the League of Women Voters of Oregon, and Secretary of State Shemia Fagan.