For one hundred years, Oregon has been a national leader in creating an election system that encourages voter participation. In 1902, Oregonians approved a ballot measure allowing the people to pass legislation by initiative and referendum; in 1903, the legislature directed the Secretary of State to compile a voters' pamphlet; and in 1904, Oregonians by initiative enacted the direct primary and the first voters' pamphlet was published.
Continuing the tradition, our unique vote by mail system has increased voter turnout since enacted in 1998, and we are currently implementing improvements under the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 in order to make voting systems more reliable and voting information more accessible.
These old and new reforms have allowed greater public participation in legislation and greater public education about the candidates and proposals that will govern us all. Oregon has one of the most active electorates in the nation, and our voters' pamphlet is one of the most informative in the nation - providing you with the essential information necessary to make smart decisions about our future.
Oregon's rich history of election reform has created an election system built by and for you, sensitive to your concerns and ideas. As a result, it is up to you to take advantage of this election system, to make the choices that will steer our state by voting for what you believe in.
As Harry Truman once said, "It is not the hand that writes the law that holds the destiny of America, it is the hand that casts the ballot."
If you are re-registering or registering to vote for the first time, please use the new voter registration card, available online at www.oregonvotes.org, or request a registration card by mailing in the form on page 9 of this pamphlet.
For those of you who are already registered to vote, I urge you to send in your ballot so that it is received by September 16. Remember, the decisions you make with your ballot will affect all of our lives and the future of our state.
Oregon Secretary of State