Oregon House backs automatic voter registration

SALEM, Ore. (AP) The Oregon House has approved a bill that would use driving records to automatically register people to vote.

The 32-28 vote on Tuesday sends the measure to the Senate.

State elections officials estimate that 500,000 new voters would be registered and would begin receiving ballots in the mail. People registered based on driving records would get a letter in the mail allowing them to join a political party or opt out of voter registration.

Democrats say the measure would eliminate a barrier to voting. Elections officials say nearly 40,000 people tried to register to vote but missed the deadline over the last three elections.

Republicans objected, saying people who choose not to register to vote shouldn't be forced onto the voter rolls.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.