by NW Spotlight
On March 26th of this year, Oregon House Democrats pushed through House Bill 2988, which allows 16-year-olds to register to vote when they get their driver’s license. House Republicans offered a minority report that added restrictions to the bill, which would have:
- Protected the data of those under 18 by not allowing it to be sold or accessed via public record
- Required minors to register as Non-Affiliated Voters until they are 18 years old
That minority report failed on a party-line vote, and HB 2988 passed with only one Republican vote.
Rep. Shemia Fagan (D-Clackamas) voted for HB 2988 and she voted against the minority report. She voted against protecting the privacy of 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds.
Rep. Fagan must have quickly realized her mistake, because not long after her vote on HB 2988, she used a priority bill1 to introduce HB 3493, which exempts the voter registration records of minors from disclosure. HB 3493 is scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday, April 23rd.
HB 3493 did not receive a work session prior to today’s deadline. Any bills that haven’t already received hearings or work session before the deadline are essentially dead – going nowhere. This bill of Rep. Fagan’s is one of them.
This bill and hearing are an obvious attempt by Rep. Fagan to play CYA – because she realizes that her vote on March 26th was a bad vote.
1Priority bill – each member gets 5 priority bills per session. At the start of session, members can drop an unlimited number of draft requests. That expires at the end of February. Beyond that, members can use their 5 priority bills until the end of session (sine die).