Occupation: Design Engineer
Occupational Background: Electrical Engineer
Educational Background: BSEE Purdue University
Prior Governmental Experience: Voter Advocate since 1992
"The Secretary of State, as Chief Elections Officer, must first and
foremost, be a committed vocal advocate for voters when
individuals or groups try to manipulate the election process for
personal or political gain. The current officeholder has
performed this task very poorly and I intend to do much better.
I support the proposal to make the office of Secretary of State nonpartisan. This is a small but very reasonable step toward long overdue election reform."
What is a nonpartisan office?
- In a nonpartisan race, only the top two candidates for each office qualify for the General Election in November. Voters select these candidates in the May Nominating Election.
- "Nonpartisan" means that all voters, regardless of party affiliation, have the right to participate in both the nominating and general elections.
- "Nonpartisan" doesn't mean that all candidates must be Independent. Political Parties should be allowed to endorse candidates for any non-judicial office and the party name can be printed after the candidate's name on the ballot. Voters need and want this information.
Aren't partisan elections unconstitutional?
- In 1988, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that candidates for public office could be segregated by party affiliation. (Libertarian Party of Oregon v. Roberts) This ruling validated the four separate standards used to qualify candidates for partisan office in Oregon. Even school children know - the "separate but equal doctrine" is a sham.
- Currently, if Oregon courts choose to interpret the constitution in some absurd way, or ignore it entirely, little can be done by the voters or legislature. (There are no "checks and balances" on the court.)
- Acts of the Legislature are subject to voter referendum. Rulings of the Court are just as important and should be subject to referendum as well - with no time limit.
(This information furnished by Paul Wells.)