The old sayings goes: “You win some and you lose some.” With regard to the local election results, we won one, we lost one, but we gained a lot even where we lost. We gained experience, and we did a great job communicating with people. How many more people will we recognize at the store, post office, or bank?
One of the most important lessons we learned is that the County Clerk’s office does a fantastic job ensuring the integrity of our elections. The system of checks and balances they follow lets us rest easy, knowing that the ballots cast by our informed and educated electorate will be counted fairly, without bias. Anyone who has doubts about the vote-by-mail system need only observe the system in place here, and they will come away believers.
42.8% of registered voters turned in ballots. In numbers, this translates into 7,772 of the 18,163 registered voters in Tillamook County. 55% of those voters agreed with us that smoking and tobacco use should be banned on county property. Unfortunately, only 31.4% of the voters agreed with us that applying a tax on new construction would result in an important first step in solving the housing crisis in the county.
By comparison, three years ago, before the Oregon Motor Voter system was implemented, there were 14,382 registered voters in the county. Yes, the number of registered voters has grown by nearly 4,000 people, by over 26% in just three years. More voters means that we need to reach out to more people, and expand our efforts to communicate with voters. Our canvassing campaign reached more people than ever before. We knocked on well over one thousand doors. We communicated with hundreds of voters, and enabled them to become educated and informed voters, even though the text on the ballot was neither informative nor clear.
It is clear that the electorate in Tillamook County is now much more aware of the housing crisis that hundreds of families face on a daily basis. They majority of voters may not have voted for Measure 29-152, but there should be no question that we need a solution, and we need to work together to find a solution to this challenge.
Because we are Democrats, we will not forget about those in need of housing, nor those in need of health care, just as we will continue to support quality education, justice and equality for all. The need for your activism has grown, and we count on you to reach our goals. Over the next two months we won’t be hosting regular monthly meetings. During this time your officers will continue our efforts to plan, and represent our interests at higher levels.
We’ll be ready to canvas in January for Measure 101, which enables hundreds of thousands of Oregonians to receive health care. Until then, pat yourself on the back for all we accomplished this past month, and rest up so that we can achieve a whole lot more in the New Year!
As proud Tillamook County Democrats, we support and elect Democrats who share and fight for the ideals, values, and policies that improve the lives of all Oregonians. We inspire and strive for civic engagement, and provide access to and transparency in the political process at all levels.
Tillamook County Democrats
Dave McCall, Chair
Annie Naranjo-Rivera, Vice-Chair
Karen Mahurin, Secretary
Jacob Van Buskirk, Treasurer