It’s that time of year again: voting season. As hopefully all of you are registered to vote at least in your home state, you already know the value of voting. Because we are all super busy with school and life, I’m going to break down some important facts for you about the ballot measures and how to vote in Oregon:
The deadline to register to vote in Oregon is October 14th(next Tuesday), and the election is November 4th.
If you missed filling out the voter registration cards when members of the Oregon Student Association came into any of your classes, and want to vote in this upcoming election, you can register to vote by going to:
the ASUO office in MacAuthur Court (EMU South)
- Anyone over the age of 17 and who is a US citizen.
- No Oregon driver’s license is required, just enter the last 4 of your social security number.
- If you moved, you need to fill out a new registration card (the post office cannot legally forward any ballots which come in the mail)
- If your signature changed since the last time you voted, you need to fill out a new registration.
Maybe it should be noted that it is not ethical or legal to vote in more than one state election. If you don’t care to vote in your new state/district, make sure you get an absentee ballot request in to your state soon so you can still be involved in the political process this year.
Oregon voting is done by mail. Hassle Free! This means no figuring out where your voting station is to vote.
You can check out http://www.oregonlive.com/voterguide/ to see side-by-side comparisons of candidates, and what would happen if the majority selected to pass or deny an initiative.
This election, the Governor, a US Senate seat, and (as relevant to us in Eugene) the US Representative for the 4th district, State Senator for 6th District, and State Representative for 11th district are up for election.
There are 7 Measures on the ballot:
Measure 86: Directs the state to create a fund to provide financial aid for Oregonians seeking higher education by issuing bonds
Measure 87: Amendment to the Oregon Constitution to allow state judges to serve in the Oregon National Guard and teach in Oregon public universities.
Measure 88: Allows the Department of Transportation to issue a “driver card” to Oregon residents who cannot prove they are in the US legally, but meet all other requirements
Measure 89: Adds an Equal Rights Amendment to the Oregon Constitution, which would prohibit laws that grant privileges or immunities from being applied differently on the basis of sex
Measure 90: Change Oregon’s primary to a “top two” system where the top two vote getters, regardless of party would advances to the general election.
John Bain wrote a great piece on this measure: https://oregonlawblawg.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/the-spoiler-effect-strategic-voting-and-freedom-of-association-why-measure-90-is-the-wrong-choice-for-oregon/
Measure 91: Allows for recreational marijuana, within limits, and allows the state to regulate and tax sales.
There is a great upcoming local event on this measure:
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon presents Rick Steves: Travel as a Political Act – Ending Marijuana Prohibition in Oregon
When: Thursday, October 9, 7:00 PM.
Where: Historic McDonald Theatre, 1010 Willamette St, Eugene
FREE, but REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Visit: http://www.aclu-or.org/ricksteves
This will be a part of the ACLU-OR annual membership meeting.
Measure 92: Require food producers and sellers to label genetically modified food.
There have been information booths at the Eugene Farmers Market, which I highly encourage you to visit. Also, Will Vote for Food has a great website explaining the ins and outs of this measure.
That brief summary hopefully peaked your interest and will spur you to register to vote in November. The Oregon Student Association also has a great Student Voter Guide available here, which goes through the ballot measures and the importance of your votes, as well as the ins and outs of filling out and turning in your ballot.
*** Feel free to join the conversation on Facebook and let us know how you feel about any of the ballot measures, Oregon’s electoral system, or another issue important to you.