New Oregon ballot initiative would require voters to show proof - KPTV - FOX 12

New Oregon ballot initiative would require voters to show proof of citizenship

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Local conservatives are trying to gather signatures that would require every voter in the state to provide proof of citizenship in the next two years.
 
Opponents to the proposed initiative say there is no evidence of voter fraud in the state and it would cause a major voter suppression issue.
 
Portland attorney James Buchal is one of the two men heading up the effort to gather signatures on this initiative. The other is State Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence.
 
Buchal could not point us to any specific examples of voter fraud in the state. He mentioned alleged voter fraud problems in other states as a reason to revamp the system Oregon currently has in place.
 
If the petition gets enough signatures, it could be on the November 2018 ballot and would significantly increase the requirements to vote in Oregon. All Oregonians would have to re-register by providing the state with a copy of a birth certificate, passport, or another proof of citizenship.

Everyone who wants to vote would have to provide that proof to state officials by 2020.
 
“You want to open a bank account, you want to get on a plane, you come and present identification. Why would voting be on some sort of honors system that is routinely been shown in other places to be not honored?” Buchal asked.
 
Opponents of the measure say it is unnecessary and the state already has precautions in place to combat voter fraud.
 
Jann Carson with the ACLU of Oregon says that this proposal would likely suppress voter turnout, especially among minorities, the elderly and the poor.
 
“We think this proposal would take Oregon, that is currently one of the best states on voters' rights, and overnight turn it into one of the worst states on voters' rights,” Carson said. “Especially in Oregon, this is a solution to a problem that we don't have.”
 
The petition needs 117,578 signatures to appear on next year's ballot.

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