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senate Bill S. 3214

Should Voters Be Able to Cast Their Ballots by Mail in Federal Elections?

Argument in favor

Voting by mail is far more convenient than having to go wait in line at a polling place, and automatic voter registration at the DMV eliminates the hassle of having to deal with the state elections office too.

Nathan's Opinion
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10/12/2016
I know everyone says there's a ton of voter fraud but there's not. Do a couple minutes of research and decide for yourself. Usually bills that want to make it harder to vote disproportionately affect low income families and minorities.
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Nathan's Opinion
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10/12/2016
Voting by mail has been proven to increase voter turnout and there is no evidence of increased fraudulence. Oregon and Washington have been doing only vote by mail for years and it works splendidly!
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R.K.'s Opinion
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10/12/2016
We allow our military personnel to vote by mail so why should we treat other citizens any differently.
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Argument opposed

Voting by mail can be relatively expensive because of the the number of ballots that have to be sent, and not everyone who goes to the DMV to update their license or registration wants to be registered to vote.

Katie's Opinion
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10/13/2016
Voting should be done by fingerprint scan at this point.
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James's Opinion
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10/12/2016
There is too much voter fraud now regardless of what the courts and politicians say. All voter registration should require proof of citizenship before any voter ID or drivers license is issued. All voter rolls should be purged of deceased voters and those who have moved to another jurisdiction. Recently fourteen deceased persons were registered to vote in Virginia. In too many cities and counties, there are more people registered to vote than the census says live there. Philadelphia is a prime example where the elections board has failed to clean up the voter roles. Dead people have been voting for years in places like Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and in most other large cities. Illegal aliens have also been allowed to register to vote and have in fact been found to have voted in recent elections. DHS recently signed up 853 illegal aliens to vote who were supposed to be deported. American citizens votes are being stolen and cancelled out when invalid votes are cast making a difference in the outcome of close elections.
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operaman's Opinion
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10/12/2016
Stupid question. I have been voting for 20 years via USPS. It's called absentee ballot. What's the big deal? I think the nuances of this question is registering to vote? My opinion, If you can't make an effort to vote, you're not qualified to mark a "X". By the way, if you have a nose ring, please allow me to guide you to the correct booth. I always have a dog leash somewhere. PS, an ear or lip ring will also help.
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What is Senate Bill S. 3214?

This bill would give voters the ability to cast their ballots by mail for federal elections and allow people to automatically register to vote when obtaining their driver’s license or updating their information.

States would be required to mail ballots to registered voters at least two weeks before the election at no charge, and couldn’t place any restrictions on the right to vote by mail except for a deadline to return the ballot to state or local election officials.

Impact

People who want to vote by mail for federal elections or register to vote automatically when they got to the DMV; and state election officials and motor vehicle authorities.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 3214

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced this bill to give all American voters casting ballots in federal elections the ability to do what those in his home state are able to do — vote by mail:

“My home state of Oregon has led the nation in making voting more accessible. No one has to take time off work just to exercise his or her constitutional rights. My proposition is the rest of our country should follow Oregon’s lead and offer all voters a chance to vote by mail.”

This legislation has the support of one cosponsor in the Senate, Wyden’s fellow Democrat from Oregon, Jeff Merkley.


Of Note: Oregon became the first state in the U.S. to exclusively use vote by mail in 2000, following the passage of an initiative with the support of 69 percent of voters. Since then it has had among the highest voter turnout rates of all states.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Clipdude / Creative Commons)

AKA

Vote By Mail Act of 2016

Official Title

A bill to amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to allow all eligible voters to vote by mail in Federal elections, to amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to provide for automatic voter registration.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Rules and Administration
    IntroducedJuly 14th, 2016
    I know everyone says there's a ton of voter fraud but there's not. Do a couple minutes of research and decide for yourself. Usually bills that want to make it harder to vote disproportionately affect low income families and minorities.
    Like (68)
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    Voting should be done by fingerprint scan at this point.
    Like (38)
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    Voting should be made as easy as possible
    Like (63)
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    Voting by mail has been proven to increase voter turnout and there is no evidence of increased fraudulence. Oregon and Washington have been doing only vote by mail for years and it works splendidly!
    Like (48)
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    We allow our military personnel to vote by mail so why should we treat other citizens any differently.
    Like (32)
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    Let me be clear, voter fraud is NOT an issue in our country. Do some research. While we obviously must be vigilant for it in elections, bills that restrict voting for "voter fraud protection" are almost always a bill meant primarily to disenfranchise minorities and the impoverished. Voting must be made as easy as possible in a democracy.
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    I voted by mail this election, between the time that I received my ballot and mailed it back, I took any free time I had and learned more about the issues and candidates that being somewhat informed about most parts of the ballot; it also takes a strain off of the resources on Election Day and allows those who cannot vote on that Tuesday to vote. I strongly recommend voting by mail if your state allows it.
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    Voting should be made as easy as possible. Being against this bill is being for voter suppression.
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    Being an out of state college student I feel like it would be tremendously easier to vote if we could just send it in the mail
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    There is too much voter fraud now regardless of what the courts and politicians say. All voter registration should require proof of citizenship before any voter ID or drivers license is issued. All voter rolls should be purged of deceased voters and those who have moved to another jurisdiction. Recently fourteen deceased persons were registered to vote in Virginia. In too many cities and counties, there are more people registered to vote than the census says live there. Philadelphia is a prime example where the elections board has failed to clean up the voter roles. Dead people have been voting for years in places like Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and in most other large cities. Illegal aliens have also been allowed to register to vote and have in fact been found to have voted in recent elections. DHS recently signed up 853 illegal aliens to vote who were supposed to be deported. American citizens votes are being stolen and cancelled out when invalid votes are cast making a difference in the outcome of close elections.
    Like (12)
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    The amount of voter fraud happening right now is unreal. You may get more voters to participate this way, but you will certainly open elections to a level of fraud never seen before. If you're eligible to vote get off your ass and go to your polling station.
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    Stupid question. I have been voting for 20 years via USPS. It's called absentee ballot. What's the big deal? I think the nuances of this question is registering to vote? My opinion, If you can't make an effort to vote, you're not qualified to mark a "X". By the way, if you have a nose ring, please allow me to guide you to the correct booth. I always have a dog leash somewhere. PS, an ear or lip ring will also help.
    Like (9)
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    Voting should be a right for citizens. Less obstacles means a better election. The number of voters is down, and if things were easier than perhaps people would be more willing to participate.
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    Yes, yes, yes. This bill reflects current practices in many states. The concept should be extended to all citizens.
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    Accessing the right to vote should be made easier.
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    Oregon's vote-by-mail system has been running smoothly for years, and I think it's a great way to make voting more convenient and, therefore, encourage more voter participation.
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    I'm a lifelong Oregonian, and our Mail-in ballots are something I take for granted. I don't have to worry about taking time off work to vote, worry about getting sick and not being able to vote...it's all on my own time and leisure. Make voting more accessible to those who are unable to get to polling stations.
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    I go to school out of state, so it came in handy the last election. Why take away that privilege?
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    Voting should be easy. This is a step in the right direction!
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    and you should be able to do it online
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