I was intrigued by the recent Oregon Supreme Court ruling concerning the exclusion of inactive voters from being counted on petitions. In review of the opinion it stipulated that by statue inactive voters are prohibited from voting. Thus only active voter's signature will be counted. A voter is considered inactive if they have not voted in the last 10 years and have been notified by the county.

I think this ruling will/should have ramifications concerning Oregon's vote-by-mail system. Instead of sending out mass ballots to all registered voters, only active voters should be allowed to vote using the rationale of the court's ruling.

I am not a proponent of vote-by-mail. I am a firm believer in one person, one vote. I also think people should have to show some type of identification to vote. The United States is only one of a few countries in the world that do not require identification to vote. Given the importance of each election, it is critical to ensure voter integrity.

So, if you are in an inactive status your signature will not count on a petition, and the same should hold true to your ballot. If you are in an inactive status, all you have to do is contact the Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services to be activated.

Some court rulings have unattended consequences, I think this one may and should change the vote-by-mail system in Oregon.

Joe Mesteth


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