Poll: Nearly Two Thirds of Oregon Voters 'Likely' to Reject Driver's Licenses for Illegals

Article author: 
Tony Lee
Article publisher: 
Article date: 
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Article category: 
Oregon Issues
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Voters in Oregon are set to strongly reject a measure that would allow illegal immigrants to receive driver's licenses.

According to an October 8-11 poll conducted by Oregon Public Broadcasting, 61% of likely voters were opposed to Measure 88. 53% said they were "certain" to oppose the measure while another 8% said they were opposed to it but "may change mind." 26% of Oregon voters said they supported giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants while 5% said they supported the measure but "may change mind."

As the Register-Guard noted, Measure 88 would require illegal immigrants to "pass the state’s written driver knowledge test and behind-the-wheel driver test, provide proof of residence in Oregon for more than one year, proof of identity and date of birth," but the potential "recipient would not have to prove legal U.S. residency."

The survey of "the major Oregon ballot measures" found that legalizing marijuana is the only initiative that has the support of a majority of Oregon's voters. On the other hand, as the the Oregonian noted, unlike other measures—like whether to "require labeling of genetically modified foods"—that can go either way as election day approaches. Measure 88 is "the one exception" because it is the only one that seems certain to be defeated.

Oregon voters are rejecting the measure even though those in favor of giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants have raised more than ten times the amount of money its opponents have. Groups for the measure have raised $421,000 while those opposed to it have only raised $37,000. Opponents have claimed that industries that want to hire illegal immigrants are backing efforts to pass Measure 88.

According to the Register-Guard, while those who support the measure have claimed that the driver's license "could not be used as identification with federal agencies for air travel, to enter a federal building, to register to vote or to obtain any government benefit requiring proof of citizenship or lawful presence in United States," talk radio show host "Lars Larson said the federal Transportation Security Administration, which oversees air travel security, confirmed to him that the driver card—as a state-issued identification card—would be accepted by the TSA to board an airplane." The TSA is not commenting on the matter after Larson's remarks. The Oregon Republican Party has also opposed the measure, "saying it could aid terrorists and Mexican drug cartels."

The poll, conducted by "Portland-based DHM Research," has a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percentage points.