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Oregon lawmakers mulling bill to put race on voter registration

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon state lawmakers are considering a bill that would give residents the option of providing their racial identity, ethnicity and language preference when registering to vote.

Those backing the measure say the publicly available data would allow for stronger engagement with voters of color and would make it easier for state and local elections officials to address racial inequity in voting access.

Eight states already collect similar data via voter registration. Listing those details when registering to vote would be voluntary.

“Right now, because we do not collect this data, we do not have a clear picture of how well voting populations across the state are served by the systems that we have,” said Rep. Khanh Pham, D-Portland, the chief sponsor of House Bill 2745 during its first public hearing Thursday.

Similar data is already collected in fields including education and health care to improve outcomes in different demographic groups, and the same should be done for the state’s elections, Pham said.

Providing demographic information would be voluntary. Oregonians currently have four ways to register to vote, and the bill would require that the option of providing race, ethnicity, and preferred language information be available in each manner.

During a committee hearing, House Republican Leader Christine Drazan, R-Canby, questioned the need for the information to be public, if the intent is to simply study participation. No one spoke in opposition to the bill during testimony or public comment Thursday.

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The Associated Press



  1. Hurray progressive Oregon. all people MUST always and only be judged by their skin color. There is nothing more important for liberals. As Joe Biden says, if you don’t vote for democrats you ain’t black. For our great democrat party you are not an American. you are not an individual. You are not a taxpayer. You are a racial group and nothing more.

  2. Not only knowing your race they also want to know if you’ve got the Covid vaccine. Trust them though, it’s strictly just for the purpose of collecting data to get a clear picture of who’s going to obey.

    1. Your, like just about everybody’s, data has already been collected, by lots of entities for all sorts of nefarious reasons. It is way too late to worry about your data being collected.

      Some more of my data got collected just now .. when I hit Post Comment.

  3. I have an issue with the “language preference” part. One of the requirements to becoming a US citizen is “You can read, write and speak English.”, therefore you will not need other languages to cast a vote if you are here legally.

    1. part of your issue is your belief in miss-information – the laws are clear, and easy to read and understand, and your assertion is inaccurate

        1. I stand corrected. I’m just more familiar with second and third generation citizens that continue to speak only their native language and (as many of us have read about during the last election) need help in reading.

  4. race is nothing but a human construct, dreamed up by individuals interested in manipulating ideas to exploit power (fascinating, dastardly history) – racism, unfortunately, is a very real thing, regardless of it being based on nothing

    1. In their quest to appear less racist they become even more racist with goofy pronouncements like these. Yes the are funny because they can’t see past their own ridiculousness.

  5. When asked my race on any form I check Other and write in American. When asked my party preference on the voter registration form I check Non Affiliated Voter.

  6. As this is a self reporting, self identifying process; will encourage everyone to put a check in every race box and skew the data collection to make it irrelevant which it should be for voting. Appears to once again an opportunity to create disunity rather than normalize the process.

  7. So what happens if everyone decides to check Asian Native American? You know people are going to check all kinds of things just to make it weirder. Will Black people check White hoping for privilege’s or will Whites check black hoping for more recognition? Do people already claim whatever sex they want to be at that moment? So anyone can claim to be a Female Pacific Islander, A Portuguese speaking Asian Male or a left handed Hispanic who prefers to speak French.

  8. Why do our democrat leaders in this country see things so black and white? It’s time to end the racial overtones and realize we are all just Americans.
    Stop the push to go backwards towards segregation, it is continuing to add to unnecessary racial tension.

    1. Because they are racists. They believe minorities are little infants and need caring white democrats to care for them. And they love exploiting them for votes.

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