Here in Oregon we are lucky. We are one of only three states that has vote by mail exclusively which is a very friendly and exceeding fair way of conducting voting. Vote by mail gives voters the opportunity to think about who they want to vote for and send in their ballot when it is convenient for them, rather than when it is convenient for a federal elections official, but many states do not have this opportunity. In fact in several states voting rights have gone backwards in the recent past due to constant attacks on voting rights and the rollback of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court which sent voter’s rights back decades in many southern States.
Elections matter. How we are able to cast a vote makes all the difference in who gets elected and it matters to a person’s dignity. As a candidate for Federal office I advocate for clean, open and accessible elections. In addition to supporting campaign finance reform, I support a radical change in the way we do voting in this country, that is if you think that radical means letting people vote. I support easing barriers to voting, election administration designed for the voters, openness throughout the process, nonpartisan supervision of elections and making the way we vote a higher priority at all levels of government. In solidarity with some Common Cause recommendations for election reform, I support the following measures:
1. No-fault absentee voting
2. Early voting
4. Time off for voting
5. Election Day as a Federal Holiday
6. Instant Runoff Voting
7. Reinstatement of the Voting Rights Act
8. Elimination of racist loopholes which disenfranchisement African Americans and minorities such as burdensome Voter Id requirements.
9. Same Day Voting
10. Same Day Registration.
11. All voting systems must have a voter-verified paper ballot that is the official ballot for purposes of recounts and audits.
12.All systems must be auditable, and mandatory random audits must be performed on a statistically significant percentage of voting machines directly following any election.
13. Voting systems must allow voters with disabilities to be able to vote privately and independently.
14. The process for testing and certification must be open and computer security experts should be allowed access to the voting machine software.
15. Prohibit non-elected election administrators from participating in partisan political campaigns. Elected officials should be limited to participation in their own campaigns.
16. Include citizen panels in decision-making, poll watching and other aspects of election administration.
17. Establish strict conflict-of-interest laws for all elections officials.
18. Elections should receive higher priority in local, state and national budgets.
19. Re-enfranchisement of convicted felons after time served.
For more information and ideas about voting rights I recommend visiting Common Cause at http://www.commoncause.org/issues/voting-and-elections/voting-rights/
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