Our View: Get Out the Vote - for whom?
We share Portland Commissioner Chloe Eudaly's enthusiasm for participatory democracy. But we, like others, have concerns about her proposed "Get Out the Vote" initiative.
Last week, Eudaly announced plans to allow city employees who work in bureaus she oversees to attend a Get Out the Vote rally this Friday and then head out — while on the clock — to knock on doors and remind folks of next Tuesday's election.
Eudaly is pitching this as a nonpartisan effort. And her staff has come up with a way to identify which precincts traditionally have the lowest turnout during midterm elections like this. So, the areas targeted would be based on participation numbers, not party registration.
That's great, but it's very difficult to boost (or suppress) turnout without benefiting one party. And in heavily Democratic Portland, that's certainly the case.
We think Commissioner Nick Fish has the right idea. He's requiring employees in the bureaus he oversees to take unpaid time off work Friday and join the effort.
That seems appropriate. Public employees may have a keen interest in candidates and measures on the ballot. If so, they should get involved, but do so on their own time.
We, too, hope that registered voters in the city — and throughout the state — get informed on the choices before them and cast their ballots. If you haven't yet voted, there's still time to research the candidates and measures, fill out your ballot and drop it in the mail. Toward that end, here's a recap of our endorsements.
Allows local governments to leverage bond money for affordable housing
Bans future taxes on food and food-related industries
Requires 3/5 vote to raise fees
Repeals Oregon's Sanctuary Law
Authorizes Metro to levy bonds for housing
Multnomah County Auditor
Portland City Council
Jo Ann Hardesty
Public financing of city elections
Clean Energy Fund