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In roughly 10 weeks Oregon voters will be tasked with casting ballots in the May primary election

In roughly 10 weeks, Oregon voters will be tasked with casting ballots in the May primary election. Many will exercise that inalienable right by not voting, choosing rather to complain about the system without having the courage to do something to improve it.

That's a pity and a threat to democracy.

Candidates for president started last year campaigning for votes, although they haven't shown up in Oregon as the state is one of the last to hold its primary.

It's also because Oregon is not a so-called "Battleground State," meaning in the larger scheme of things Oregon's popular votes and delegates to the Electoral College pale in comparison to its neighbor to the south or Ohio or Florida or New York.

In Multnomah and Clackamas counties, voters will decide the fate of a number of races. Perhaps most importantly, residents in the Centennial School District will decide on to pass Measure 26-208, a $65 million bond measure to provide for student security and maintenance of the aging school buildings.

Portland is asking voters to approve Measure 26-209, which would renew a 10-cents per gallon fuel tax that was previously approved in 2016. This would impact residents in outer Northeast Portland.

Perhaps the most controversial money measure on the May ballot is Metro regional government's SEL 805, which would impose a new layer of taxation to provide services for the region's homeless population. If passed, Metro would tax income ($200,000 joint/$125,000 single) and profits on businesses with income over $5 million.

The ballots also includes races for Multnomah County commissioner, Metro councilors and legislative races.

There's a contested race for the Democratic nomination in House District 50 (Gresham) between William Miller and Ricki Ruiz.

If you haven't already, now would be a good time to begin in earnest the task of educating yourselves on the issues and candidates.

In the coming weeks, The Outlook will publish several endorsement editorials. It's important to note that not everyone will agree with the opinions expressed in those endorsements. That's OK. We don't expect everyone to agree.

And if you disagree, The Outlook welcomes your thoughtful feedback through letters to the editor, or longer guest opinions. Your comments will appear in print and on our cafeteria of online social media. We'll post our endorsements online, and you are welcome to chime in with your digital comments.

One thing we ask, however, is that you keep your comments friendly. One of things we've lost these days is the ability to respectfully disagree. We ask that political commentary — support or opposition — remain civil. It's OK to express a strong opinion, but name calling has no place on the Outlook's Opinion Page.


You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.

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