A New Center In Gresham Will Make It Easier For People To Vote, Even If They Don’t Speak English Well

The Voting Center Express will welcome voters who need disability or language assistance.

The future of the Oregon electorate is in Gresham.

The area east of I-205—including the rarely celebrated city—is home to close to 165,000 voters and counting. The area is seeing new voters register at a faster pace than anywhere else in Multnomah County, says county spokeswoman Jessica Morket-Shibley.

"We also know that people in this area are more likely to have moved recently and move more often; are more likely to be a new or naturalized U.S. citizen; and are more likely to speak English less than very well," Morket-Shibley says.

And, starting Jan. 8, it will be easier for residents in Gresham to vote.

That's thanks to the new Voting Center Express soon to open in the Multnomah County East Building in downtown Gresham.

In an effort make voting accessible to as many people as possible, the new voting center will provide native language services to people who's first language is not English. It will also pair voters with disabilities with any necessary assistance.

The Voting Center Express will be open 15 days before each election in 2018 for people to replace lost or damaged ballots or update voter registration information—in addition to the general assistance the center will provide.

Oregon has an important special election coming up Jan. 23.

The lone ballot measure—Measure 101—asks voters whether they want to preserve or repeal a package of healthcare related funding measures that would help pay for Oregon's Medicaid expansion.