The right to vote is one of the fundamental rights and freedoms that make American democracy so special. In the past year, we have all seen how important civic participation is to our country's strength and voting is one of the best ways you can be involved in your government.
Each and every election provides you with a significant opportunity to fulfill your civic duty and take part in making the decisions that will affect the future of your community, state and nation. I hope you will make the most of that opportunity and exercise your precious right to vote on September 17.
Because the Voters' Pamphlet is sent to every residence in Oregon (not just to every registered voter), some of you reading this may not yet be registered to vote. August 27 is the deadline to register in order to be eligible to vote in the September election.
There are only a few days left, but you still have time. And what's more, it's easy to register to vote so don't put it off! Do it today!
Check out the Oregon Votes web site at www.oregonvotes.org to print a voter registration form, or go to your local county elections office. Even if you don't make it by August 27, you have until October 15 to register to vote in time for the November 5 General Election.
For those of you who are already registered to vote, I urge you to send in your ballot so that it is received by September 17. Remember: the decisions you help make with your ballot will affect all of our lives and the future of our state.
As Franklin D. Roosevelt once observed, "nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do that is by not voting." I urge you to protect your rights and uphold your freedoms by voting in this and every election.
Oregon Secretary of State