Voters' Guide Cover         Letter to the Voters         General Information         Voter Registration Information    

General Information

Voters' Pamphlet

Measures

Candidates

Random Alphabet

Website

Español

Getting a Replacement Ballot

Voter Information

Vote by Mail Frequently Asked Questions

Provisional Ballot Information

Voters with Disabilities



Voters' Pamphlet

Your official 2008 General Election Voters' Pamphlet is divided into two separate volumes. Volume 1 contains information on the 12 statewide ballot measures, as well as information on registering to vote.

Volume 2 will include a listing of state candidates, statements submitted by candidates and political parties, and information about voting your ballot. It will also include your county voters' pamphlet if your county chooses to produce a voters' pamphlet in combination with the state. Volume 2 will be delivered October 15-17.

Measure arguments and candidate statements are printed as submitted. The state does not correct punctuation, grammar, syntax errors or inaccurate information. The only changes made are attempts to correct spelling errors if the word as originally submitted is not in the dictionary.

The voters' pamphlet has been compiled by the Secretary of State since 1903, when Oregon became one of the first states to provide for the printing and distribution of such a publication. One copy of the voters' pamphlet is mailed to every household in the state. Additional copies are available at the Secretary of State's office, local post offices, courthouses and all county elections offices.

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Measures

For each of the twelve statewide ballot measures in this voters' pamphlet you will find the following information:

  1. the ballot title;
  2. the estimate of financial impact;
  3. an explanation of the estimate of financial impact, if determined to be necessary by the committee;
  4. the complete text of the proposed measure;
  5. an impartial statement explaining the measure (explanatory statement);
  6. for a legislative referral, a legislative argument in support of the measure; and
  7. any arguments filing by proponents and opponents of the measure.

The ballot title is generally drafted by the Attorney General's office. It is then distributed to a list of interested parties for public comment. After review of any comments submitted, the ballot title is certified by the Attorney General's office. The certified ballot title can be appealed and may be changed by the Oregon Supreme Court.

The estimate of financial impact for each measure is generally prepared by a committee of state officials including the Secretary of State, the State Treasurer, the Director of the Department of Administrative Services, the Director of the Department of Revenue, and a local government representative selected by the committee members. The committee estimates only the direct impact on state and local governments, based on information presented to the committee. In addition, the committee may choose to provide an explanation of the estimate of financial impact statement.

The explanatory statement is an impartial statement explaining the measure. Each measure's explanatory statement is written by a committee of five members, including two proponents of the measure, two opponents of the measure and a fifth member appointed by the first four committee members, or, if they fail to agree on a fifth member, appointed by the Secretary of State. Explanatory statements can be appealed and may be changed by the Oregon Supreme Court.

Citizens or organizations may file arguments in favor of, or in opposition to, measures by purchasing space for $500 or by submitting a petition signed by 1,000 voters. Arguments in favor of a measure appear first, followed by arguments in opposition to the measure, and are printed in the order in which they are filed with the Secretary of State's office.

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Candidates

In the general election, candidates are divided into two sections: partisan candidates and nonpartisan candidates. Partisan candidates appear before nonpartisan candidates. All space is purchased: statements and photographs are submitted by the candidates or their designated agents. The information required by law—pertaining to occupation, occupational background, educational background and prior governmental experience—has been certified as true by each candidate.

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Random Alphabet

While the candidates' statements for candidates running for the same office appear in alphabetical order by their last name in this voters' pamphlet, you will notice that they appear in a different order on your ballot.

Oregon statute (ORS 254.155) requires the Secretary of State to complete a random order of the letters of the alphabet to determine the order in which the names of candidates appear on the ballot.

The alphabet for the 2008 General Election is:

N, X, Q, H, Y, S, G, K, I, A, E, M, B, O, R, W, D, Z, U, J, L, V, T, F, P, C

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Website

Most of the information contained in this voters' pamphlet is also available in the Online Voters' Guide at www.oregonvotes.org.

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Español

Una versión en español de algunas partes de la Guía del Elector está a su disposición en el portal del Internet cuya dirección aparece arriba. Conscientes de que este material en línea podría no llegar adecuadamente a todos los electores que necesitan este servicio, se invita a toda persona a imprimir la versión en línea y circularla a aquellos electores que no tengan acceso a una computadora.

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Getting a Replacement Ballot

If your ballot is lost, destroyed, damaged or you make a mistake in marking your ballot, you may call your county elections office and request a replacement ballot. One will be mailed to you as long as you request it by October 30. After that, you may pick it up at the elections office. If you have already mailed your original ballot before you realize you made a mistake, you have cast your vote and will not be eligible for a replacement ballot.

Your voted ballot must be returned to your county elections office by 8pm election day, Tuesday, November 4, 2008.

Postmarks do not count!

County elections offices are open on election day from 7am to 8pm.

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Voter Information

For questions about voter registration, ballot delivery and return, marking the ballot, requesting a replacement ballot, absentee ballots, signature requirements, the voters' pamphlet, when and where to vote, and other questions about elections and voting, call the toll-free voter information line at 1-866-ORE-VOTE (1-866-673-8683).

Voter information line representatives can provide services in both English and Spanish. TTY services for the hearing impaired are also available at 1-800-735-2900.

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Vote by Mail Frequently Asked Questions

What is Vote by Mail?

Vote by mail is a method of conducting elections. Instead of using traditional polling places where voters go to cast ballots on election day, a ballot is automatically mailed to each registered voter. The ballot is then voted and returned to the county elections official to be counted.

As a voter, what do I have to do?

Your ballot packet will automatically be mailed to you between October 17 and 21, 2008. Inside the packet you will find the ballot, a secrecy envelope and a return envelope. Once you vote the ballot, place it in the secrecy envelope and seal it in the pre-addressed return envelope. Be sure you sign the return envelope on the appropriate line. After that just return the ballot either by mail or at a designated dropsite.

What if I am uncomfortable voting my ballot at home?

Privacy booths are available for you to cast your ballot. There are privacy booths at your county elections office and there may be others at dropsite locations elsewhere in your county. For further information, call your county elections official.

What if my ballot doesn't come?

If you are registered to vote and have not received your ballot within a week after they are mailed, call your county elections office. They will check that your voter registration is current. If it is, they will mail you a replacement ballot.

What if I have moved and have not updated my registration?

If you were registered to vote by October 14 but now have a different address, call your county elections office for instructions on how to update your registration and receive a ballot.

Do I have to return my ballot by mail?

You have the choice of mailing your ballot or returning it to any county elections office or any designated dropsite in the state. The times and locations of dropsites are available at your county elections office.

How much postage is required to mail the ballot back?

Your voted ballot can usually be returned using a single 42 first-class stamp. In those instances where additional postage is necessary, it will be clearly indicated on the ballot materials.

When must the voted ballot be returned?

The voted ballot must be received in any county elections office or designated dropsite by 8pm on election night. Postmarks do not count!

How do I know if my ballot is received?

You can call your county elections office and ask if they received your ballot. A record is kept showing each voter whose ballot has been returned.

Can anyone find out how I've voted once I mail my ballot?

No. All ballots are separated from the return envelope before the ballots are inspected. This process ensures confidentiality.

What if I forget to sign the return envelope?

Generally, your elections office will either return it to you for signing or they will contact you, if possible, to come to the elections office to sign it. If the return envelope does not get signed before 8pm on November 4, the ballot will not be counted.

Can the public watch the election process?

All steps of the process are open to observation by the public. Contact your county elections official to make arrangements.

When will election results be known?

Ballot counting cannot begin until election day. Initial results are released at 8pm election night and will continue to be updated through election night until all ballots have been counted.

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Provisional Ballot Information

You will be issued a provisional ballot if:

In order to obtain a provisional ballot, you need to fill out a Provisional Ballot Request Form in person at the County Elections Office.

Your provisional ballot will not be counted until it is determined that you are eligible to vote.

After you have voted the ballot, you can call 1-866-ORE-VOTE (1-866-673-8683) or the County Elections Office in which you voted to find out if your ballot was counted. If your ballot was not counted, you can also find out the reason it was not counted.

If it is determined that you are ineligible to vote in this election, the completed Provisional Ballot Request Form will serve as your voter registration for future elections.

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Voters with Disabilities

Alternate Format Ballot

The Alternate Format Ballot (AFB) is a new voting tool that is available to voters with disabilities. The AFB allows voters with disabilities who are unable to mark a printed ballot to vote privately and independently at home if they have, or have access to, a computer with a web browser and a printer.

Call 1-866-ORE VOTE/ 673-8683 or your county elections official for more information.

Accessible Computer Stations

To accommodate voters with disabilities that do not have, or have access to, the required technology to vote the AFB from home, every county elections office will have at least two Accessible Computer Stations (ACS), one permanent and one portable. The permanent ACS is located at the county elections office and voters can go to the office and vote privately and independently using the AFB. The portable station allows county election officials to, upon request, take the ACS and AFB to remote locations or a location agreed upon by the voter and the county elections officials to accommodate participation in the voting process.

Voting Assistance Teams

Any voter with a disability who needs assistance can request assistance from the county elections office. A non-partisan voting assistance team will be able to provide assistance marking a ballot, using the ACS and AFB or completing a voter registration card.

Call 1-866-ORE VOTE/ 673-8683 or your county elections official to request assistance.

Educational Videos

Go online at www.sos.state.or.us/elections to view two educational videos about the Alternate Format Ballot/Accessible Voting Station and Assisting Voters with Disabilities. If you are an organization that provides services to people with disabilities you can request a copy of the videos on DVD by calling 1-866-ORE VOTE/ 673-8683.

Signature Stamp Attestation Card

If, because of a disability, a person is unable to sign a ballot or registration card, they may use a signature stamp or other indicator that represents their signature. A signature stamp attestation form must be completed along with an updated (or new) voter registration card.

Call 1-866-ORE VOTE/ 673-8683 or your county elections official for more information.

Large Print Voter Registration Card

Large print voter registration cards are available for voters with visual disabilities. Call 1-866-ORE VOTE/ 673-8683 or your county elections official for more information.

Statewide Voters' Pamphlet

Digital audio and accessible text versions of the Statewide Voters' Pamphlet are available on the web at: www.oregonvotes.org. A CD version (MP3 audio files) of the Statewide Voters' Pamphlet is available by request.

Call 1-866-ORE VOTE/ 673-8683 or 503-986-2352 to request a copy.

Other Voter Guide Resources (for statewide elections)

The SOS, with the help of HAVA funds, partners with Talking Book and Braille Services, Oregon Literacy, Inc., Oregon Advocacy Center and the League of Women Voters of Oregon Educational Fund to produce, print and distribute alternate formats of the Easy Voters' Guide and the Regular Nonpartisan Voters' Guide.

Easy Voters' Guide

Available in digital audio and accessible text versions on the web at www.lwvor.org/votersguide.htm. Printed versions in both English and Spanish are also available from the partner organizations listed above.

Regular Nonpartisan Voters' Guide

Available in digital audio and accessible text version on the web at www.lwvor.org/votersguide.htm. Large print, Braille, CD and NSL compatible 4-track cassette versions are also available.

Contact Talking book and Braille Services at 1-800-452-0292 to request this voting guide.

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