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 Newsroom Detail


Representative Bonamici, Senators Merkley and Wyden will join to discuss Oregon voting reforms nationally
Portland, OR—Governor Kate Brown will sign new defending democracy bills at 2 p.m. tomorrow, August 2 at the Bus Project in Portland. SB 861 was a priority the Governor set during her proposed budget with support from then-Secretary of State Dennis Richardson and the Bus Project. The legislation requires the state to pay for ballot returned envelopes for elections. HB2716 and HB2983 are campaign finance reform bills.

The Governor will be joined by Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden and Representative Suzanne Bonamici to discuss expanding Oregon voting reforms nationally including the "For The People Act" ( H.R.1 ) and vote by mail .

"It's time to make everyone's mailbox a drop-box — at no cost to the voter," said Governor Brown. "The stamp is a functional barrier for voters with disabilities and rural voters who may live far from a drop-box. While Oregon is at the forefront of voter access, to maintain a strong democracy, we must take further actions to ensure voter accessibility."

“Oregon is a national leader in making voting accessible, and everyone in the country should have the same access to fair and free elections. Fortunately, we made progress when the U.S. House passed H.R. 1, the For The People Act. I was proud to co-sponsor and vote for this bill because it includes many of the voting access provisions that Oregon has already adopted, like expanding automatic voter registration, online registration, and vote-by-mail," said Representative Bonamici. "To have a democracy that is truly of, by, and for the people, every voter should be able to cast a ballot. The Senate should take up the bill immediately to protect our democracy and restore confidence in our elections.”

"While wealthy and powerful special interests in states across the country are waging a war on voting and trying to stop people from electing people who actually represent their priorities, Oregon continues to be a trailblazer in making voting easy and accessible—this time by making sure that Oregonians can mail their ballots free of charge," Senator Merkley said. "America is strongest when every person can easily cast their ballot. That's why I've been fighting alongside my colleagues in Congress for legislation like the Vote by Mail Act, and leading efforts to pass For the People Act in the Senate. Anyone who truly believes in the founding vision of our democratic republic should stand for voter empowerment, not voter suppression."

"While other states are striving to make it harder for their residents to vote, Oregon's made it clear that securing and expanding access to the ballot box is top priority," Senator Wyden said. "Oregon led the way with vote-by-mail, a low-cost and secure model. With the signing of SB 861, Oregonians can now mail in their vote without any financial or undue roadblock. In the U.S. Senate, I've introduced the Vote By Mail Act to export Oregon's model nation-wide."

Members of the media are welcome to attend. Those who plan to attend or need additional information should contact Nikki Fisher at or 503-689-2509.

Friday, August 2
2:00 p.m. Bus Project
333 SE 2nd Ave
Portland, Oregon


Chris Pair
Kate Kondayen
Lisa Morawski
Elections & Voting
Media Advisory / Event