A crap-free voters' pamphlet

Our voters' pamphlet arrived in the mail the other day, a combined Oregon State and Multnomah County version. It's 168 pages, most of which is meaningless junk. Hopeless Republican candidates, crazy ballot measure pitches, page after page of people running in uncontested races, and directions on how to register and vote in all kinds of languages (although at least there's no Klingon this time).

I count 33 meaningful pages in the whole package, at least for a Democrat like me, which means that 80 percent of what's in there is just in the way. Oh, and the county pamphlet is stapled into the middle of the state pamphlet, which only makes the format more distracting. It's almost as if they don't want you to find too much.

I thought it might be useful to edit the darn thing down to just the key 33 pages. What I came up with is available here. You may find it useful. If not, you can plow through the full official versions, and you'll have to go to different websites to get them, here and here.


  1. Proficiency is English is no longer important.

    1. You don't even have to be a citizen to vote these days, so why speak the national language?

    2. Silly me. I always thought that a requirement to be able to vote was being a citizen and one of the requirements for citizenship was the ability to speak and read English.

    3. There’s a long history of non-citizen voting in the US, states that wanted to encourage immigration used it to help attract new residents. See Keyssar’s “The Right to Vote.” Voting should be like tax paying — you don’t have to register, there are no barriers, if you’re eligible, you do it. Indeed, it should be compulsory that you return the ballot — you don’t have to vote it if you don’t want to, but everyone who is eligible should be sent a ballot and should have to return it.

  2. Is there something wrong with someone who speaks Somali voting?

    1. Not if it can be (and is) objectively translated. But knowing that the word choice in ballot measure description can inject bias, the problem grows exponentially in translation. Which leads to the next question: who (but a handful of linguists) is capable of determining whether a translation is accurate?

    2. Only if the Somali votes for "English as the official language of the USA."

    3. No, but do we have to send out 100,000 voter registration cards in that language? And do we have to do it in a book that the rest of us are supposed to use to get information about the candidates and issues?

  3. NO ONE submitted a single argument in opposition to the gas tax renewal. I guess I know now how this is going to go...

    The proposal summary breaks down the allocations as follows (in round numbers:

    - $24mil for street repair & maintenance;
    - $24mil for safety; and
    - $15mil for "community street services".

    The allocations will be correct but the purposes are all wrong. Just like the last two go-rounds, the expenditures will be:

    - $24mil for DEI;
    - $24mil for bio-swales and other vanity projects (VERY) loosely related to "climate change"; and
    - $15mil for graft.

    Vote NO on the gas tax renewal!


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