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A bill to cover postage costs for ballot envelopes in Oregon? A bill to shield courthouses from immigration enforcement? We like the ideas, even if they are doomed.

Newspapers spend a lot of ink and paper and time writing about legislation, laws and projects that impact the lives of readers.

Every now and then — like St. Jude, the Patron Saint of Hopeless Causes — it's good to reflect on some of the proposals that won't see the light of day.

Sen. Richard Devlin has one of those hopeless causes in the 2017 Oregon Legislature. Senate Bill 683 would allow Oregonians to return their vote-by-mail ballots without a stamp.

That seems like a small-potatoes kind of bill. Who cares?

But here's the context: States throughout the nation have been raising barriers for voting. Voter ID laws, reducing the hours that polling places are open and reducing the number of polling places all act to drive down voter participation.



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