IT’s TOO LATE, now, to vote by mail … but VOTE!

By the time you read this, it’s too late to mail in your ballot! It’s too late! But – read this, and discover the ‘dirty little secret’ of elections that makes it imperative that you do vote. Also, we’ll tell you where you can drop off your ballot, too …

STOP! If you mail your ballot now, it probably won’t be counted! Instead, take it to this secure, ballot drop box – like this one at in the back of Midland Library’s parking lot, 805 S.E. 122nd Avenue, a block south of SE Stark Street – or at any other Multnomah County Library branch.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Because all ballots must be received by 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18, to be counted – postmarks don’t count – Multnomah County Elections Division officials advise you to take your ballot personally to one of their secure drop-off sites.

Your vote is important
There are lots of reasons not to vote in this spring election. You may not have strong feelings about any of the candidates running for office. If you are registered as an “independent” and are not party-affiliated, you can’t vote in the primary elections anyway. And, the state initiatives may look like non-starters.

Other people complain that they’re “sick and tired” of politics. Or that “their vote doesn’t make any difference” in these races.

But, your vote really does count right here, in the various important City of Portland, Multnomah County, and Metro elections. If you just don’t know about all the ballot measures – or can’t figure out whether or not you should vote for a judge you aren’t familiar with – it’s OK to go ahead and leave it blank.

Here’s why you should vote: If every registered voter in outer East Portland cast their ballot – it would be citizens here, in our part of town, who elect our next Portland City and Multnomah County Commissioner, and not someone living downtown or on the west side!

The candidates who either are elected, or will be sent to a runoff  election during the fall balloting, will have a direct voice on how billions of YOUR tax dollars are spent.

Dirty secret of politics
When politicians consider in which geographic areas to spend resources, they look at the Precinct Voting Records.

But here’s the shocking truth: Bureaucrats don’t so much care about who – or for what – citizens voted. They examine the records to see in which precincts citizens vote. Few votes indicate a low level of interest in what City or County government does, and therefore, how they spend YOUR tax dollars!

If you don’t vote, you lose your voice in city and county government – and make politicians keep thinking of outer East Portland as a backwater of uncaring citizens.

Official drop-off sites
If you don’t want to drive over to the Multnomah County Elections Office on the north side of SE Belmont, between SE 10th Avenue and 11th Avenue, or south on SE 11th Avenue (on the east, or driver’s side) – just drive to your local library, instead.

A couple of 24-hour ballot drop sites and additional ballot drop-off boxes are located in all 17 Multnomah County Libraries, including one for outer East Portland residents at Midland Library, 805 SE 122nd Avenue. (Box location: parking lot).

East County readers may want to use one of these libraries:

  • Fairview-Columbia: 1520 NE Village Street, Fairview
  • Gresham: 385 NW Miller Street, Gresham
  • Rockwood: 17917 SE Stark Street

East Portland readers will find ballot boxes at these libraries:

  • Belmont: 1038 SE 39th Avenue
  • Gregory Heights: 7921 NE Sandy Boulevard
  • Holgate: 7905 SE Holgate Boulevard
  • Hollywood: 4040 NE Tillamook Street
  • Sellwood-Moreland: 7860 SE 13th Avenue
  • Woodstock: 6008 S.E. 49th Avenue

Ballot drop boxes are official and secure places for voters to deposit ballots for receipt at the Multnomah County Elections Division. Boxes will be emptied as needed, and then one last time promptly at 8:00 p.m. on Election Night.

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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