Why I Was asked to Leave a Polling Place Because I Was Not Registered

On the issues: Rep. Ken Calvert and Will Rollins on Jan. 6, LGBTQ rights and polarization

This is the third in series of comments by House members following an interview with The Oregonian/OregonLive.

House Speaker Tina Kotek, R-Portland, is a member of the House Democratic Caucus, and recently authored legislation that would eliminate the state’s requirement that voters go to the polls on Election Day to register to vote. The legislation was inspired by an experience that Kotek had when she was a member of the Oregon House at the same time that she was the first Oregonian in state history to serve as a member of the Oregon Senate. In 2004, the Legislature was considering legislation that would require voters to register to vote and would not allow them to vote at their assigned polling place unless they registered to vote at their designated precinct.

When Kotek attempted to vote at the poll that day, she was asked to leave the polls because she wasn’t registered at the polling place. She was then taken to her assigned polling place and asked to vote. She returned to the polls for election day, was told that she was not registered, and was then told again that she had to leave the polling place because she was not registered.

I have had my fair share of experiences in my own personal life where I was asked to leave a polling place because I wasn’t voting at the location. My experience is not that of a disenfranchised voter, but instead one that, in hindsight, it is my duty to ask why I was asked to leave. A more important point that I wish to make is this: in my experience, voters need to understand how the two-party system works and how different candidates have worked to ensure that voters who are willing to cast a ballot for President don’t cast a ballot that only votes for a single candidate but instead votes for all of them, regardless of party. This is one of the reasons why it is so important for voters to make sure they are properly registered.

To that end, this past week, Oregon voters

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