SB 1577A extends auto voter registration to college applicants

Ways & Means
Ways & Means

Status (overview) of bill:
Committee assigned to bill:

This bill extends automatic voter registration to applicants for admission to public institutions of higher education, and give Secretary of State access to tax records requiring the Department of Revenue to provide the Secretary of State with records
containing information related to voter registration.

They cracked the door by passing auto voter registration in medical provider offices last session, which gives access to non-citizens, now they want to give access to non-residents applying for college, even if they don’t ever attend in Oregon. How much will this cost colleges and raise tuition?

The bill gives the college authority to transfer application records to the Secretary of State and gives the Secretary the authority to establish rules as to what information transferred establishes the person’s eligibility to be a qualified voter. She must do that without any records showing citizenship. The bill prohibits the transfer of any records demonstrating that a person is not a citizen of the United States even though Section 2 requires citizenship information.

But, going down that rabbit hole, it does only say “citizenship information” and not that they have to be a citizen. It’s the same in ORS 247.002 under Registration. It requires the voter Registration card to include “citizenship information” but never says that information needs to show citizenship. ORS 247.012(4) does not require citizenship status for the county clerk to register the person as a voter.

If you are told you have to be a citizen to vote in Oregon, the statutes don’t support it. Therefore, exchange students or “green card” students could register to vote under this bill.

If any registration information is missing in the electronic processing, and the person does not respond with the information within 21 days, they are registered anyway as long as there is a name, any address, eligible age, which none is ever checked.

This bill also sneaks in authorizing the Secretary of State to receive records from the Department of Revenue for identifying a person. This applies to everyone’s registration. Currently that is done with motor vehicle records, which was recently hacked.

It becomes operative June 1, 2026.


Co-Chair Senator Elizabeth Steiner
Co-Chair Representative Tawna Sanchez
Co-Vice Chair Senator Fred Girod
Co-Vice Chair Representative David Gomberg
Co-Vice Chair Representative Greg Smith


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  1. Nobody should be automatically registered to vote. If somebody chooses to vote, they should be able to go through the steps necessary to register themselves.

  2. This should be a no vote. They’re going to college they should be educated enough to register to vote in Oregon if they live in Oregon.they may be voting at home too if they’re from another state this is not right

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