By Brian Halvorsen, Independent/Progressive candidate State Representative District 32
After telling my boss that I needed time off to campaign, he told me something that stuck with me, “I used to not vote. But then I learned: if you don’t vote, you can’t complain”.
While I had heard that phrase before, it never stuck in my head like it did when he said it. Maybe it’s because I’m a candidate now and have a different perspective, but it really is true that if you abstain from our political process you’re limited on the impact you can have. So what is the point of identifying flaws if you’re not going to do something to change it?
I agree with some of the points that people make when they tell me they’re not voting. I’ve had people tell me they don’t think there are candidates that represent their views. But that’s not a reason to not vote, it’s a reason to run for office and represent those views you feel are being left out.
People who don’t plan to vote have also told me they’d like to see a “none of the above” option on the ballot. I completely agree and in Nevada they actually have that choice. We should try to include more voices into our political process, and that includes those who don’t have a preferred candidate on the ballot.
But while we can make improvements on how we vote in the future, we have an election rapidly approaching and I encourage everyone to stay informed and vote. The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, October 16.
If you aren’t sure about your voter registration status, you can check it on the Oregon Secretary of State website: https://sos.oregon.gov/voting/pages/myvote.aspx
Oregon ballots will be mailed out between October 17 and October 22. As always, postmarks don’t count in Oregon elections so if you mail in your ballot too late it might not count. The state currently doesn’t have a date for the last day ballots can be mailed in, but this article will be update when that is posted.
The best way to ensure your vote gets to the county clerk in time to be counted is putting it in a designated ballot drop-site. Drop-sites will be open until 8 p.m. on election day, which is Tuesday, November 6. For official ballot drop-sites in your area: https://sos.oregon.gov/voting/pages/drop-box-locator.aspx
Whoever or whatever you vote for please exercise your democratic right!