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Motor voter law expands rolls by more than 230,000

SALEM — The state’s voters have expanded by 230,707 due to Oregon’s motor voter law and 11,574 of the state’s 2.57 million registered voters had cast ballots by Oct. 24, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

Under the new law, which took effect Jan. 1, eligible voters who apply for a license, permit or ID at the DMV are automatically registered to vote as unaffiliated voters, unless they specify that they wish to register with a specific party or that they do not want to register to vote.

The deadline to register to vote was Oct. 18.

The state intends to keep track of the number of voters registered through the program who participate in this year’s election, according to Oregon Secretary of State Spokeswoman Molly Woon.

In 2012, 82.8 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the general election, according to data compiled by the Oregon Secretary of State’s office.

Between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, the majority of voters registered through the motor voter law were registered as unaffiliated, according to cumulative program data maintained by the Secretary of State’s Office. According to that data, 29,741 Oregonians returned a card selecting a party — 13,246 Democrats, 10,030 Republicans and 2,211 Independents.

About 3,300 people chose to designate themselves as nonaffiliated, although the law automatically designates voters as unaffiliated unless the voter decides to choose a party.

About 24,000 Oregonians opted out of registration, and approximately 9,000 motor voter mailers weren’t deliverable between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30.