Dear fellow Oregonian,
In the coming weeks, you will have another chance to take the future of our state in your hands by voting.
This November's special election includes two ballot measures that deal with issues that are important to our state. Because these measures touch on such fundamental issues, they have attracted a large number of arguments. One hundred seventy-five arguments outline the debates in favor of and against the measures. I encourage you to spend some time reading through them so that you can vote wisely.
Special elections are those that are called by the Legislature when they refer issues to the voters. Our initiative and referendum system - one of the first in the nation - is now over 100 years old and gives the power of law-making to the people. That system only works, however, when citizens choose to engage in it by voting.
We are lucky in Oregon to be a vote-by-mail state - the only one in America! But increasingly, other states are investigating voting through the mail because it fits into the busy demands of a 21st century lifestyle. With vote-by-mail, every voter has over two weeks to read their Voters' Pamphlet and fill out their ballot. Voters can deliberate on their choices and discuss their ideas with friends and family before completing it.
October 16th is the last day to register to vote for this election if this is your first time voting in Oregon. Because of our new centralized voter registration database, you can change your address until Election Day at 8 pm and still have the opportunity to vote.
If you have more questions about voting, please visit our website at www.oregonvotes.org. There you can find the locations of your local county elections office as well as links that will help you find official ballot dropsites.
Remember, every vote counts, so make sure yours is among them. The future of Oregon rests in your hands!
Secretary of State