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Lawmakers try again at making Oregon ballots free to mail

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

By Gordon R. Friedman

SALEM — Voting may be a right, but in Oregon it can also come with a price: 49 cents, the cost of a postage stamp needed to put a ballot in the mail. But that may change as members of the Legislature are again considering a bill to have the state pre-pay for ballot postage.

The legislation, Senate Bill 683, is backed by Sen. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, and Sen. Richard Devlin, D-Tualatin. They say it’s tough for some would-be voters to obtain a stamp.

“This is especially true for a lot of young people who don’t use stamps,” Dembrow told the Senate Rules Committee Monday. “They pay their bills electronically…. It’s also true for a lot of people who are low-income or who maybe have disabilities.”

Devlin told the committee that Senate Bill 683 is about increasing “participation in our representative democracy.”

If pre-paying for ballot postage boosted voter turnout by 5 percent, it’d be worth the estimated $650,000 to $1.3 million annual price tag, he said…

We Respond & Your Comments

We’re touched to the point of tears by Mike & Rich’s concern for the young, poor, disabled and voter turnout. Aren’t you?

What’s that you say? Mikey & Richy don’t give a (insert your favorite word here) about them? You think he knows they vote mostly Democrat and that his Progressive pals will snag a whole slew of votes?

We’re shocked by your cynicism. We know Dems care only about young, poor and other at risk Oregonians – whether or not they vote. Indeed, they care deeply. And they care enough to add maybe a million or more bucks to our State’s budget hole.

Now – aren’t you ashamed of yourselves?

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