Media Room

REMARKS AS PREPARED

Governor Kate Brown
SB 861 Testimony – Paid Ballot Postage
Monday, March 11, 2019


It is a great honor to be here today to testify in support of SB 861.

I would like to take a moment to recognize the legacy and leadership of my colleague, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, who was also a champion of this important and critical legislation, and supporter of paid postage.

As Secretary of State, he worked hard to restore ballot access for Oregonians whose voter status were inactive. He advocated to allow voters to be considered active for up to ten years after they cast their last ballot. And that’s huge progress.

I’m pleased to testify today, both acknowledging his legacy, and continuing to advocate for legislation we both supported and championed.

While Oregon’s vote by mail system is one of the most innovative ways any state has increased voter access, it’s also hobbled by something less modern: the postage stamp.

While Oregon is at the forefront of voter access, to maintain a strong democracy, we must take further actions to ensure voter accessibility. Other states like Washington have beat us to it.

I also want to acknowledge the good work of our county clerks and postal workers. 

Two weeks ago, I was in Washington, D.C. and had an opportunity to meet with the United States Postmaster General Megan Brennan. 

They are willing partners in this expansion.

I support the dash-1 amendments for SB 861, let’s get this moving, let’s get this done.