This September 28, 2010, editorial in the Oregonian is worth reading:
Cutting off voters for no good reason: Oregon county clerks defend a 20-day voter registration deadline even though the early cutoff disenfranchises some first-time voters:
Excerpt: “Over the years, the county clerks that run Oregon elections have embraced vote-by-mail, online registration and other innovations that have helped build one of the nation’s most respected state elections systems.
That’s why it’s so dismaying that the clerks continue to defend Oregon’s outdated and unnecessary 20-day cutoff for new voter registrations.
The clerks know that shutting down new registrations just as many people are getting interested in an election serves to disenfranchise voters, especially young first-time voters. They know that nine other states allow new registrations up to and including Election Day. They know that more than a half million eligible Oregon voters will fail to register and participate in the Nov. 2 election.
And yet, two leaders of the Oregon Association of County Clerks sat before a legislative panel last week and again repeated the clerks’ opposition to moving Oregon’s registration cutoff closer to Election Day. They offered only one defense of the 20-day cutoff: Voters put it in the constitution….” (Link to full editorial.)