Please remember to vote in Oregon’s 2018 Primary Election and encourage your friends and family to vote, too.
Historically, voter participation has been relatively low in non-presidential primary elections, which means that the voters who do turn in their ballots have greater influence.
To help level the playing field, for the first time ever, the Voters’ Pamphlet includes statements from all eight of Oregon’s political parties. In past primary elections, only the two largest parties were permitted to include statements in the Pamphlet. I changed this practice because it was not fair.
In this election, all voters will have the opportunity to vote in nonpartisan contests for Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries, Judge of the Oregon Supreme Court and Judge of the Oregon Court of Appeals. Here’s information about these three nonpartisan positions:
Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries
If a candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in the contest for Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries, the winner will be elected immediately without having to run in the November General Election. The BOLI Commissioner’s mission is to “protect employment rights, advance employment opportunities, and protect access to housing and public accommodations free from unlawful discrimination.”
Judge of the Oregon Court of Appeals
In contests for Judge of the Oregon Supreme Court and Judge of the Oregon Court of Appeals, only the candidates who receive the most votes in the Primary Election will appear on the November ballot. The role of the Oregon Court of Appeals is to “review appeals of most civil and criminal cases and most state administrative agency actions.”
Judge of the Oregon Supreme Court
The role of the Oregon Supreme Court is to review the decisions of the Court of Appeals and other lower courts, usually in “cases with significant legal issues calling for interpretation of laws or legal principles affecting many citizens and institutions of society.”
In nonpartisan contests, the information on candidates for these important statewide offices is listed toward the end of the Voters’ Pamphlet.
In addition to the three contests described above, there may be local issues and candidates that appear on your ballot.
If you are going to mail your ballot, please give yourself plenty of time for it to arrive before 8 p.m. on May 15. If you prefer to deliver your ballot, you can take it to your county elections office or go online to find the closest ballot drop box. All ballots must be physically received by your county elections offices (or in a drop box) by 8 p.m. on May 15. Postmarks do not count.
Thank you in advance for fulfilling this important civic duty.