Secretary of State Dennis Richardson said Tuesday that ballot drop boxes and official sites are available to voters in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Columbia, Marion and Yamhill counties. Ballots must be turned in by 8 p.m., Nov. 6. “Please encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to turn in their ballots,” said Richardson said. Results for every race in the state will be posted on the secretary of state’s website, www.results.oregonvotes.gov, beginning at 8 p.m.
State and county officials say they have buttressed the state’s voting systems against intruders. “I am confident that Oregon’s voting system is as safe as it can be from malicious outside entities,” Steve Trout, state elections director, said in a prepared statement. “That being said, we continue to evaluate and improve our security processes to ensure our systems are secure.”
In the lead-up to election day, a candidate in Oregon received a letter with a racist note written on the bottom. Justin Hwang is the Republican candidate for state representative in District 49. He says he has been canvassing for months. When he sees a “no soliciting” sign on someone’s door Hwang says he sends them a letter. Friday morning, Hwang says someone returned one of those letters to him with a handwritten note on the bottom. It read, “You will never get my vote Chink. Go to your country and run for office.” “I’m not mad at the person. Hopefully I can just meet the person who sent me the letter and hopefully I can change their mind,” said Hwang. “We’re from many different places, but I want to let him know that we are all one.”
Voters slow to turn in their ballots for the Nov. 6 general election may have gotten a little jolt in their mailboxes recently—for some, an unwelcome flashback to days of seeing an evaluation of your performance determined by grades on a report card. Mail pieces from the Democratic Party of Oregon come with a big red banner announcing “Voter Report Card.” “Who you vote for is private, but whether or not you vote is public information,” the mailer says. “We are sending this voter report card to show how often you vote and to help you keep track of how you’re doing.” If that sounds a little paternalistic and even borders on shaming those who haven’t yet filled out their ballots, the DPO makes no apologies.
An Oregon voter-turnout nonprofit is sassing young voters with an obscenity-laced pep talk that derides online activism. The Bus Project—a nonprofit that seeks to register young voters and get them engaged in the political process—this weekend released a new ad campaign telling young voters: “Guess what, your protest photos on Instagram aren’t doing shit.” “We all get that rich people are screwing us over, the planet is literally melting and the rent is too damn high,” Samantha Gladu, The Bus Project’s executive director says in the online video. “But if you don’t vote next week, you’ll be marching and protesting and deleting apps over the next worst thing that’s ever happened.”
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Nationally, women who fall into this segment of the population are expected to be among the most enthusiastic cohort of voters; many pundits expect them to register their disapproval of President Donald Trump at the ballot box. Closer to home, where GOP gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler is locked in a tight battle with Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, a similar dynamic is at play. In order to become the first Republican governor in the state in more than 30 years, women in Washington and Clackamas counties, in particular, will be key to either pushing Buehler over the finish line or ensuring his Democratic rival is re-elected. It could be a tough sell for a Republican in a state with a Democratic-voting edge in a year in which women have been galvanized by President Trump, bombarded by a dizzying number of sexual misconduct stories in the news and have witnessed a record number of women running for political office.
The Bend Bulletin
“We’re hearing a lot of excitement, a real desire for a change that will bring a less partisan leadership to state government,” Buehler said. “It’s going to take a herculean effort to start to turn things around in Oregon.”
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Final disclosure reports filed before Tuesday’s election show that the two major candidates for Oregon governor are continuing their torrid fundraising. Democratic incumbent Gov. Kate Brown raised more than $17 million. Republican challenger Knute Buehler raised $18.5 million. So far, the two have doubled the previous record for an Oregon governor’s race, set in 2010. The reports cover money raised and spent up to eight days before the election. In that period, Buehler received several business-related donations of up to $10,000. Brown received $100,000 from the Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon. Abortion rights advocates have staunchly backed her re-election campaign.
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Voters in 10 Oregon counties will decide on Second Amendment Preservation Ordinances this Election Day. The ordinances state that county residents have the right to own semi-automatic weapons and high capacity magazines, and the right to own firearms without any registration requirement. The ordinances also call on county sheriffs to decide whether state and federal gun laws are constitutional, and prohibit the use of county resources to enforce any laws deemed unconstitutional.
As President Donald Trump stokes fears about a migrant caravan heading to the United States, right-wing militia groups claim they are traveling south to defend the border. A Washington Post report today says the militia members include Oregonians. Shannon McGauley, a bail bondsman from outside Dallas, Tex., told the Post that he is organizing an armed militia group of at least 100 people to guard the border from the caravan. “I can’t put a number on it,” McGauley told the Post. “My phone’s been ringing nonstop for the last seven days. You got other militias, and husbands and wives, people coming from Oregon, Indiana. We’ve even got two from Canada.” It’s not clear how many Oregonians, if any, are in fact joining McGauly’s group. But on Oct. 26, an Oregon woman named Monica Marin told the Associated Press she had raised $4,000 to help militias buy supplies. “I see young, fighting-age men who do not look like they’re starving. They look like they’re ready to fight,” Marin said. At the same time, she said: “We’re trained. We’re not hotheads. We’re not out there to shoot people.”
Decades-old, disintegrating and dangerous chemicals lurk in the back of cupboards and shelves in high schools throughout Oregon. A state program aims to get them out. For a decade, the Department of Environmental Quality has hired an environmental consultant to examine every bottle and can in science and art classrooms, and paid a hazardous waste disposal company to remove those deemed dangerous. Last week alone, a visit to Sweet Home High School resulted in the removal of fully half the containers in the science lab storeroom, the consultant, Dave Waddell, said. And a visit to North Marion High School ended in an Oregon State Police bomb squad being called to safely remove and destroy two dangerous chemicals.
The Bend Bulletin
Oregon transportation officials will try to negotiate an agreement with Facebook that would allow the company to use highway right of way for a 100-mile fiber broadband line serving its Prineville data center. In exchange for the unprecedented step of allowing a private enterprise to use the right of way, the Oregon Department of Transportation could gain access to broadband that would benefit Central Oregon in the future. State and local officials envision using the internet connectivity to transmit more real-time information to drivers or to enable use of autonomous vehicles.
By framing Portland’s homelessness epidemic as a critical lack of affordable housing, I believe that Gov. Kate Brown and Rep. Knute Buehler have ignored the main driving factor behind the city’s increasing homelessness epidemic. I believe that rampant, untreated addiction is the driving force for the city’s ongoing struggle to effectively house its citizens. It is naive and short-sighted to think that federal Section 8 housing and shelter beds alone will solve the homelessness crisis. Leaders in Salt Lake City, Utah, reduced chronic homelessness by more than 90 percent by pairing affordable housing with intensive addiction services and case management. Organizations like Portland’s Central City Concern work to promote supportive housing and addiction services, to the great benefit of its clients and the city. To effectively tackle homelessness in Portland, we must address addiction.
Herald and News
Tens of thousands of men and women have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan with permanent physical handicaps and deep emotional scars — wounds they will be coping with for the rest of their lives. Many need assistance outside the doctor’s office, including finding suitable employment in an economy that, though humming for many, is far from ideal for individuals with disabilities, whose unemployment rate is more than double the national average. Truly comprehensive care would not only fix the VA but expand it to empower injured veterans with economic opportunities, peer-to-peer engagement, and group-centric mental health programs that utilize injured veterans’ greatest tool for overcoming battle-born trauma: each other. We shouldn’t have to pull on the heartstrings, and purse strings, of strangers to care for wounded war veterans in the United States. Their care should be provided, in full, by the American people.
The Bulletin Editorial Board
If you are a parent of a child in the schools, you should be at the next school board meeting.
If you pay taxes to the school district, you should be there, too. The district has fire code issues at Summit High School and possibly more schools, according to inspections. Fire alarms are blocked and untested. Smoke dampers are disabled. Who allowed that to happen? Why hadn’t inspectors noticed it before? How bad is the problem? Is it at other schools? What is the district going to do about it? Of course, the district is responding. It is doing testing at Sky View and Three Rivers schools and will move on next to Bend High and Cascade Middle. Other schools will be tested, as well. The district says it is going to finish the testing at schools over winter break. But how did the district let it get to this point? Why is it OK to prop open smoke dampers so smoke from a fire can move freely through the building? The public deserves an explanation.