OPINION: Oregon needs Shemia Fagan to ensure fair elections
Oregon's secretary of state has an important job: to make sure that our state government is working for all of us.
This year, the stakes are higher than ever. Working families and small businesses are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, wildfire damage and everything else that 2020 has thrown at us. As we fight for Oregonians in the U.S. Congress, we need an ally like Shemia Fagan to make our state government work better in this pivotal moment.
Shemia Fagan is running for Secretary of State to make sure Oregonians have a government that is working for them, and that their voices are heard, through overseeing a free and fair elections division, the state audits department and as a clearinghouse for public records.
In the state senate, Shemia has worked with Democrats and Republicans to increase transparency in government and strengthen our vote by mail system. Anyone who has met Shemia knows she is passionate and persistent. As secretary of state, we can trust her to work in a non-partisan way to ensure voting in Oregon is easy, safe and secure.
On the other hand, Trump delegate Kim Thatcher has echoed Trump's attacks on vote by mail, saying Oregon's vote by mail system is "plagued." Such attacks are false and bitterly partisan.
If Republicans follow her lead and walk out again during redistricting, the secretary of state will be put in charge of drawing Oregon's election districts for the next decade. Oregon will not be well served if Kim Thatcher uses that polarizing partisan approach to redistricting.
We need a secretary of state who knows how to help people during tough times like these. We need Shemia Fagan to make sure our scarce government resources are working for Oregonians, especially those who need them the most.
Democrats Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are Oregon's two U.S. senators.
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