Register to Vote
Did you know, Oregonians can register to vote at 16 years old? You won’t receive an official ballot until you turn 18, but that shouldn’t stop you from registering. The registration deadline for the 2018 Oregon elections is October 16, 2018. The election will be on Tuesday, November 6, and there are lots of important decisions on the ballot. In addition to races for Congress and Oregon Governor, there will be local races like city council and county commissioner, as well as five important ballot measures on issues ranging from taxes to immigration to housing.
You can register to vote at the DMV while getting your driver’s license, or you can register online here: https://secure.sos.state.or.us/orestar/vr/register.do?lang=eng&source=SOS
Why choose a political party?
Unlike what some people may say, you do not need to join a political party to vote in an election. In fact, many local elections are nonpartisan, meaning that candidates do not run as Democrats, Republicans, or some other party. However, joining a political party allows you to vote in the primaries (where the parties choose their representatives for the general election). When choosing a political party, you should pick a political party that’s values are most inline with your own.
While there are many parties you can join, five of the biggest parties nationally are:
Democratic Party: https://democrats.org
Republican Party: https://www.gop.com
Libertarian Party: https://www.lp.org
Green Party: http://www.gp.org
Constitution Party: https://www.constitutionparty.com
You can learn about each other parties by clicking on the links above. To help you choose a party, you can use https://www.isidewith.com or http://www.people-press.org/quiz/political-party-quiz/ to help understand where your personal viewpoints fit with political parties.
What you can do before you can vote:
If you’re under 18 can can’t vote yet, you can still support our democracy. Here are a few ways you can help.
- Encourage friends and family members aged 18 and older to register to vote and vote in the upcoming elections.
- Research issues you are interested in and become knowledgeable about candidates running for office, then help educate your family and community members.
- Join a politics or government club like the OASC Capitol Ambassadors.
- Contact your elected representatives to tell them your thoughts and ideas on important issues like education. Find out who represents you in Oregon by going to this link: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/findyourlegislator/leg-districts.html