Oregon’s pioneering motor voter program, in which residents who interact with the motor vehicle division are automatically registered to vote, hit a minor software speed bump, but the secretary of state said Monday it’s being resolved.
Secretary of State Shemia Fagan said the Oregon Elections Division on Friday discovered the software error, which for the past six years has failed to pre-register some 16- and 17-year-olds to vote.
“As a result, 7,767 eligible voters in Oregon … were not given the opportunity to become automatically registered voters for the 2022 election. The issue has impacted voters during the last three election cycles,” Fagan’s office said in a statement.
Fagan will direct Oregon’s 36 county clerks to issue ballots to affected voters — those who will be 18 or older on Nov. 8.
“Eligible voters not receiving their ballots in Oregon is unacceptable,” Fagan said. “As long as I am Oregon’s Secretary of State, I will do everything in my power to ensure that no eligible voters are disenfranchised.”
The Oregon Elections Division was alerted to the issue by a voter who didn’t receive a ballot.
Fagan said her technical staff worked through the weekend to resolve the software error.
On Monday morning, there were almost 3 million registered voters in Oregon. A total of 414,000 ballots have already been returned, the secretary of state’s website said.
Voters in Oregon receive ballots in the mail and can either mail them back or leave them in official drop boxes. Ballots can be postmarked as late as Election Day and still be counted.