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First take: All-voter, television

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AUTO-REGISTRATION Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown is proposing to make Oregon the second most open state in the country as regards voting. (First: North Dakota, which requires no voter registration at all.) Brown’s proposal would still require it, but automatically register everyone within certain categories; obtaining a drivers license probably would be the big one. It’s unclear how many more people actually would cast ballots under this approach; but then, since Oregon’s approach to ballots is to mail them out, it might in fact increase turnout a bit. The parties seem to be looking at this cautiously but not with pre-emptive disdain. The debate may be interesting; this will be fun to watch.

TELEVISION STANDARDS You do know how much impact state memorials – which are basically letters sent by a state legislature to someone else – have when they get to Washington? (The phrase “toilet paper” comes to mind.) So now the Idaho House is on record (57-13) calling on the Federal Communications Commission to more rigorously support “standards of decency” on broadcast television. Never mind that that amounts to a steadily shrinking portion of the viewing environment, an island amid the unregulated. HJM 2 may be the least efficacious piece of legislation we’ve seen in the Northwest this season.

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