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Other states should follow Oregon's lead on voting rights; Article about bagpiper was inspiring

Other states should follow Oregon's lead on voting rights

The continuance of Wisconsin's primary through traditional polling places is the latest demonstration of voter suppression and inaccessibility. However, it's not the only state who has been unprepared or unwilling to manage their elections despite viable options, like voting by mail, in these past months. Although there have been some cases of states stepping up to the plate to protect the health of its residents and our democracy, it should not take a pandemic for them to consider accessibility when it comes to voting.

Oregonians have been fortunate as our history of expanding voter accessibility and convenience has ensured some stability in this turbulent time. Oregon has led the way in voting rights with Automatic Voter Registration, Online Registration, and beginning with the May 19th election, paid postage for ballots, thanks to the efforts of many grassroots organizations, including Next Up.

Pre-paid postage is a solution that removes barriers to voting. Finding designated ballot drop boxes can be difficult, especially for people with disabilities and those living in rural areas. The five counties with the lowest turnout rates in 2016 were all "rural" or "frontier" counties, each with less than 10 drop boxes. Members of the military in non-combat zones, including overseas, have also faced barriers due to the required postage. In 2016, 1 in 6 military votes were from a foreign address, and in 2014, 74% of military ballots were not returned.

The coverage provided by pre-paid postage encourages Oregonians to advocate for the issues they care about, free of cost and hassle. New, first-time voters are a valuable bloc, and 42% of them do not have postage stamps at home. Voting is vital to our democracy and anything that works to make the process more accessible and convenient should be implemented.

Izzy Rowland

Lake Oswego

Article about bagpiper was inspiring

The article about Joonas Martin the Bagpiper piping beneath the window of his former teacher Colin McKenzie and his wife Bonnie, Highland Dancer Instructor, was wonderful and moving. What a thoughtful tribute to a couple who have changed the lives of their students and to the enjoyment of their devoted listeners. And a parking lot, perfect for listening to pipes and for social distancing. Bravo for them all and for the lovers of the pipes!

Thank you beloved players and teachers and listeners.

Cathy Chisholm

Portland

Bernard right choice for commission

Jim Bernard for Commissioner: In these difficult times, we must retain Jim as Commissioner. Among many achievements, he gives Clackamas County fiscally responsible leadership; helped secure funding for law enforcement and to ease congestion on I-205; provided low-cost bonds to businesses; created a family Justice Center; worked to reduce homelessness and helped establish a Veterans Village to provide decent, safe and sanitary shelter for our veterans. We must not go backwards. Support Jim Bernard!

Shannon Busch

Lake Oswego

Senators should show up

I found out that 11 state senators left Salem and did not let the climate change vote happen in February. I thought that was a pretty selfish thing to do because climate change is causing terrible things, including places flooding and complete countries going underwater. Places like Kiribati and Hawaii are going to go under water and we can stop it by stopping climate change pollution. The senators who walked out did not help when they refused to vote on climate change legislation! How would they feel if that happened to Oregon?

Some people in island nations have to move from their homes because climate change is making water drown their country bit by bit. Their drinking water is being contaminated with salt water and their palm trees are dying from salt water. They also use the palm trees for medicine, food, and houses.

These senators also walked out on the gun violence vote. Gun violence is no joke because people die every day from being shot. What would it be like for your family if a family member of yours was killed by a gun? Shouldn't the elected officials have to vote if people could be in danger?

I hope our state senators take my advice and help people throughout the world. Climate change could change it all. We all should help. I think state senators could help a lot and save some lives (and homes) by at least voting for the climate change bills.

Silas Bennon

Lake Oswego

Vote Sloop for HD 37

I hope your readers will vote for Republican Kelly Sloop for state representative HD 37. Kelly is a native to the West Linn area. She is a fantastic candidate with deep roots here. She will not stand by and watch our communities become Portland.

Kelly would have voted NO on the Cap and Trade bill which would have cost my family & Oregon lots more money and done nothing to reduce climate change.

We need Kelly as she is someone who will lead with common sense & facts! Please help our communities by voting for Kelly Sloop HD 37 and she will stand up to Portland politics.

Josie Alexander

Lake Oswego

Jim Bernard — leadership we can trust

Chair Bernard has a platform that is inclusive in action. Supporting family-wage jobs, supporting victims of domestic abuse, streamlining applications and processes for our business community, and advocating for housing and education for all folks are the areas Chair Bernard has advocated for since day one. Jim puts people first, and that is exactly what we need to get our economy back and to protect the most vulnerable among us.

I am sure that recycling old Politicians, like Jim's challenger Tootie, through our legislative systems is NOT healthy, productive, nor imaginative of the actual needs and goals of our County. Vote for a leader we can trust. Vote Clackamas Chair Jim Bernard.

Melissa Fireside

Lake Oswego


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