Oregon is the easiest state in the nation to vote in, new analysis finds – OregonLive

Oregon is the easiest state in the nation to vote in, new analysis finds  OregonLive

Voting is easier in Oregon than any other state in the nation, according to the latest analysis by a team of political scientists tracking the issue.

“Oregon, which has one of the most progressive automatic voter registration processes and mail-in voting, maintains the first position as the easiest state in which to vote,” the researchers wrote in a summary of their findings published online ahead of publication in a scholarly journal.

The other top states for ease of voting are Washington, Utah, Illinois and Maryland. Oregon, Utah and Washington all have permanent vote-by-mail processes.

Political scientists Scot Schraufnagel of Northern Illinois University, Michael J. Pomante II of Jacksonville University and Quan Li of Wuhan University in China maintain an index of how easy or difficult it is for Americans to register to vote and cast a ballot. They last ranked states by their “cost of voting index” in 2016.

An updated analysis by political scientists ranks Oregon No. 1 state in the nation for ease of voting.

States with the highest barriers to voting have laws that would confound Oregonians. For example, Texas does not allow voters to register online starting a month before the election.

“Texas falls to 50th, in part because it does not keep pace with reforms like online voter registration and no excuse absentee voting, which have taken place in most other states,” Schraufnagel, Pomante and Li wrote. “Voters in both Michigan and Virginia will find voting more hassle free in 2020 because of changes to both voter registration and balloting processes that have occurred since 2016.”

The researchers noted that the United States’ decentralized voting system would make it very difficult to sway a national election by “stuffing ballot boxes or casting fake votes.”

“A bigger issue is laws that disfranchise people, which cause democracy to be compromised,” Schraufnagel said in a news release. “Research shows that politicians pay less attention to those who don’t participate in elections.”

— Hillary Borrud: hborrud@oregonian.com; @hborrud

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