Making Democracy Work

Elections

The League's educational activities before elections and where to register to vote

VOTE411.ORG

VOTE411.ORG is a national League of Women Voters project to provide one-stop-shopping for election information.

Before an election candidates are given the opportunity to enter information about themselves and to answer three questions posed by the League to allow voters to compare candidates' replies.

See VOTE411.ORG

Register to Vote

Are you registered to vote? Do you want to change your party, your address, your name?

You can register on line. Register

Or you can contact you local county elections office.

  • Marion County Elections Office, 4263 Commercial St. SE, Salem, Oregon--503-588-5041

  • Polk County Elections Office in the Courthouse at 689 Main St., Dallas, Oregon--503-623-9217

Registering now will have you ready for the next election.

Initiative Petitions--Think before you ink!

The League of Women Voters of Oregon (LWVOR) is encouraging its members and the public to be cautious when asked to sign an initiative petition. Voters may be asked to sign a variety of initiative petitions "just to get it on the ballot so people can vote on it." 

The League is telling voters, "Your signature is valuable, more valuable than your vote, considering that far fewer signatures are required to qualify a petition for the ballot than votes to pass it on the ballot.  Only sign an initiative petition that you believe belongs on the ballot."

LWVOR lists six questions voters can ask themselves to help them determine whether or not to sign an initiative petition:

Is it complex?  Some issues can be decided by a simple yes or no vote.  Complex issues may need to be thoroughly examined and debated in a legislative arena.

Is it confusing?  Some initiatives are not well written or contain conflicts that may require court resolution or interpretation.

Does it belong in the Constitution?  If an initiative amends the Constitution, consider whether it really belongs there.  Is it a fundamental law that should be protected from change? Correcting a constitutional amendment later would require another vote of the people to amend the Constitution again, which is cumbersome and costly.

How will it be funded?  Is it an "unfunded mandate" that would require the Legislature to take funds from other essential programs? Consider the effect on the overall flexibility of a government budget with already limited revenue.  An initiative should generally create its own revenue source and not earmark, restrict, or obligate a specific percentage of the General Fund revenues.

Who is behind it?  You can find out who are the real sponsors and opponents of a petition.  Contribution and expenditure reports are available through the Election Division at 503-986-1518 and are also online at http://www.sos.state.or.us/elections/.

Before you sign, ask to see identification of the signature gatherer.  Paid signature gatherers are now required to carry and display a picture ID issued by the Secretary of State. Numerous instances of fraud have occurred that could have been avoided by insisting on seeing identification.  And if a case of fraud is found, you will have information that could assist authorities.

Speakers' Bureau on Ballot Measures

The League of Women Voters of Marion and Polk Counties offers a Speakers' Bureau on the state ballot measures before an election. The information for these presentations comes from the LWVOR Voters' Guide .

To schedule a speaker e-mail the League's Voter Service coordinator at VoterEducation@marionpolk.or.lwvnet.org.