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Just Two More Weeks for Election Homework

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October 20, 2008

Portland, OR - Voting could be viewed as a challenge in Oregon this year, with 12 ballot measures in addition to the state and presidential races. "Big" election years lead some people to pick and choose, voting only in the few races they feel strongly about and leaving the rest of the ballot blank. These potential "drop-off" voters can account for thousands of votes not cast on some issues.

Denise Welch with the Partnership for Safety and Justice, a statewide group working to improve Oregon's approach to public safety. She says it's important to take the time to read up on the ballot measures, because they'll have a profound impact on Oregonians' lives and communities.

"These measures could fundamentally change the quality of our children's education, the availability of funding for health and human services, and Oregon's approach to addressing addiction-driven crime."

By some estimates, drop-off voters can account for eight or nine percent of all ballots cast. In a close race, a voter drop-off rate of two or three percent can affect the outcome.

Welch says there's plenty of information available about the ballot measures, if people will take the time to look it over.

"The state's Voter Guide is a great resource. Even if you don't read it word for word, just looking at the endorsements of the organizations and individuals you trust can help you make a decision."

Welch says another good option is the voter's guide put out by the non-partisan League of Women Voters of Oregon.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR