From: The Honorable Earl Blumenauer
Sent By:
paul.balmer@mail.house.gov

Date: 3/2/2017

Current Originals (24): Blumenauer, Cicilline, Beyer, Bonamici, Chu, Cohen, Conyers, DeFazio, Kaptur, Garamendi, Holmes Norton, Jayapal, Jeffries, Kind, Lawrence, Lieu, Lowenthal, McNerney, Raskin, Schakowsky, Schrader, Sewell,
Takano, Watson Coleman

March 2, 2017

Dear Colleague,

The individual right to vote, the cornerstone of our democracy, is under threat in communities across America. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, by November 8, 2016, 14
states had new restrictions on voting
 in place for the first time in a presidential election. Voting restrictions like these have historically targeted minority and low income voters. This disturbing trend in state action has mirrored the weakening of
campaign finance restrictions and voting rights laws by the U.S. Supreme Court in recent years. Even as we witness a growing civic engagement, legal and political barriers rise to unjustly diminish individual voices.

Expanding vote-by-mail is a clear and cost effective measure to make voting easier, not harder. Mail-in voting states Oregon, Washington, and Colorado saw
among the highest voter turnout in the 2016 general election
, especially notable for Oregon with nearly 250,000 new automatically registered voters. Together with Senator Ron Wyden, we’re introducing the Vote by Mail Act to build on Oregon’s successful
electoral reforms.

The Vote by Mail Act of 2017 will amend the Help America Vote Act of (HAVA) 2002 to require states to mail ballots to all eligible voters in Federal elections at least two weeks before the election. Every registered American voter would
then have the ability to return their ballots through the mail, using prepaid envelopes, or drop them off at secure predetermined drop-off locations like a public library or county elections office.

This bill also updates the National Voting Registration Act of 1993 to shift the burden of registration from the individual to the government. It calls on state governments to collaborate with state motor vehicle agencies to maintain updated voter registration
rolls for all citizens who apply for a driver’s license and who do not ask to remain unregistered.

The bill has been endorsed by the ACLU, Common Cause, National Association of Letter Carriers, and the American Association of People with Disabilities

To become an original cospsonsor of this legislation or learn more, please contact Paul Balmer (paul.balmer@mail.house.gov) in Congressman Blumenauer’s office.

 

Sincerely,

 

Earl Blumenauer                           David N. Cicilline
Member of Congress                    Member of Congress