LWV Klamath County Posts

LWV Civics Education in the Classroom

The League of Women Voters focus on citizenship.

From the LWV US:

The leaders we elect make decisions that affect our daily lives. Elections are our chance to stand up for what matters most to us and to have an impact on the issues that affect us, our communities, our families and our future. 

Increased accessibility to the electoral process is integral to ensuring that every American can exercise their right to vote. Leagues across the United States work year-round to promote pro-voter reforms that both preserve our existing rights and provide flexibility for casting ballots in order to be inclusive of historically underserved communities. 

While we have made progress in expanding voter access, many people still face disproportionate challenges to participate in elections due to factors including health, age, race, and gender. Our democracy is strongest when every voice is heard, which is why we strongly advocate for measures to make voting more accessible. 

We host hundreds of candidate debates and forums across the country each year and provide straightforward information about candidates and ballot issues. Through print and online resources, including VOTE411.org, we equip voters with essential information about the election process in each state, including polling place hours and locations, ballot information, early or absentee voting rules, voter registration deadlines, ID requirements and more. 

The LWV of Minnesota has a good page of information about civil discourse.

new lwv oregon initiative: “think before you ink”

Here’s more that the LWV Oregon is doing to protect our elections:



Never sign a petition “just to get it on the ballot so people can vote on it.” Just as voting in primaries has more impact than voting in general elections, signing petitions has more impact than ballot measure voting.

Our board members took this flyer into classrooms (see below) when we recently visited.

What LWV Klamath County is doing

We support informed voters, voting, and good citizenship. Part of those include civil discourse, the ability of citizens to disagree respectfully, and still come to agreements on important issues. Towards that end, several members of the LWV Klamath County Board have been visiting high school classes this Spring to speak about civics and citizenship. They developed a 45-minute presentation and hand out materials for both teachers and students.

These are some of the resources we offer to teachers:

LWV of Oregon – Civics Education Curriculum, a Guide to Student Civic Engagement https://www.lwvor.org/mock-election

LWV Washington – Chapter 11: What it Takes to Be a Good Citizen

LWV San Luis Obispo – Civil Discourse Study, 2014, comprehensive one-year study, brochure, checklist, presentation guide, etc. (see pp. 5-8)

LWV San Diego – “Putting Civility into Action,” 2011-12, League interest group and community presentations.

LWV Washington – “Civility in Our Democracy Program,” 2012-2013

LWV California, Suggestions for Engaging and Empowering

This is what students receive:


Being a good citizen requires striving to develop certain habits of mind and ways of living. To live in an open, democratic society, we have to accept that not everyone will share our beliefs.

We don’t always agree. We are not all alike. That’s OK. Have the courage to change what you can, the serenity to accept what you cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Letting go of winning does not work for sports, BUT, democracy is NOT a sport with winners and losers. We all lose when we can’t find a solution we can live with.

So what contributes to being a good citizen?

  1. Try to be a person of good character. Respect yourself and others.
  2. Love to learn.
  3. Learn about science and technology.
  4. Don’t feel like you have to know everything.
  5. Get to know your neighbors.
  6. Spend time with people who are different from you. Learn from them.
  7. Know your rights and stand up for them.
  8. Participate in the life of your community. Join interest groups.
  9. Think about the common good as well as individual liberty.
  10. Lean toward optimism.
  11. Think of yourself as a powerful person. Your vote elects a president who has an impact on the whole world, not just Americans. This is an important responsibility.
  12. Question authority. In fact, question everything.
  13. Don’t waste time hating “government”. Complaining about it doesn’t change it. Use your vote to elect leaders who will steer the country in a positive direction.
  14. Keep the faith in democracy. If we stop believing in it, democracy dies.

Together, we have made A LOT of progress since 1776, from outlawing slavery to extending voting rights to every citizen to becoming one of the most powerful countries on planet Earth.

Charles Schulz, creator of Snoopy said: “I believe that our greatest strength lies always in the protection of our smallest minorities.”

Here are some excellent words of advice from a Common Dreams article (March 6, 2016) by Zoe Weil, entitled “Civil Discourse Leads to Positive Change: Insults Do Not.”

“Ironically, it is when we are not competing to be “right” that we are most likely to have our perspectives adopted by others. Civil discourse isn’t just a better path for living and working together peacefully; it is a better path strategically if we want our ideas to be thoughtfully considered and potentially embraced by others.

If you’re really angry and desperately want positive change, then civil discourse is your best path forward. Venting your anger publicly isn’t only counterproductive, it’s also selfish. It doesn’t serve your greater goal; it only serves your most frustrated self. And given all the terrible, destructive, dangerous things that are happening in our society and the world, we need to harness the energy of our rage for positive purposes and meaningful change.

Civil discourse is a practice. It requires deep commitment (and deep breaths). But it works better than anything else to create the foundation for collaboration toward positive change-making that meets the needs of all stakeholders.”

Do We Need Civics Education?

YES! says the League of Women Voters.

Civics education is integral to the future of our democracy.  

Over 20 years ago, the League of Women Voters launched Making Democracy Work®, a campaign focusing on five key indicators of a healthy democracy. Two of these indicators are civic education and civic participation — because, as a nonpartisan voting rights and democracy policy organization, the League knows civic information and involvement are key to a healthy American democracy.  

At the federal level, LWVUS supports the funding of civic education and educates Congress about its importance. There is even more incredible work conducted by state and local Leagues across the country to support civic education; last year, 63% of Leagues who completed an annual survey indicated that Civic Education is a “current priority” for them.  

The federal government spends $50 per student per year on STEM education and only five cents…on civics.

LWVUS decided to delve more into the stories behind the data and learn from a handful of Leagues about their work and motivation to bring better civic engagement to their communities. Many Leagues highlighted similar motivations to lean into this work; for example, there are real, measurable disparities between federal investment in civics education and other areas of study, like STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. The federal government spends $50 per student per year on STEM education and only five cents per student per year on civics. This is especially concerning to Leagues because of the strong connection between civically educated voters and a representative, engaged democracy.  

A Look at American Civics Education

I vaguely remember taking 7th-grade civics when I was 13. I imagine that we covered the structure of the US government and the process of voting for elected officials. But five years later, when I registered to vote for the first time, there was so much I didn’t remember. I didn’t know how to find candidates, which offices I was voting for, or how to stay engaged in developments in my community so that I could make my voice heard on important issues.  

In contrast, other school subjects stand out in my memory to this day. For example, in 6th grade, I completed my first science fair project correlating the temperature of water with the time it took for food coloring to spread. I set up a lab in our kitchen, typed out a 10-page report, presented findings to a panel of judges, and took home a 2nd place award. Part of the reason I remember this in detail is that science education followed me throughout my schooling; there was a science class in every year of my education building on skills learned in previous classes. Comparing one year of civics class in 7th grade to more than 8 years of science classes over the course of primary school, students might get the impression that civics is not important. 

This example is anecdotal, but it reflects a real, measurable disparity between civics education and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education in terms of federal investment. The federal government spends $50 per student per year on STEM education while spending only five cents per student per year on civics.  

The funding of STEM education is an incredibly important investment, and my experience in the 6th-grade science fair led me to advanced science classes in high school and a Chemistry minor in college. But while I still use some of the skills imparted by STEM education, like strategic thinking and a curiosity about the world, I also wonder if a more robust civics education would have empowered me to start voting sooner than I did at age 23. Looking to the impressive results of investing in STEM, like expanding access to STEM education for girls and students of color, one vision for the future of civics education is that we could invest similarly in this subject to foster empowered and civically-minded Americans. 

What is Civics Education? 

The CivXNow coalition, of which the League of Women Voters of the United States is a member, outlines that: 

 “Civics education covers the study of the rights and obligations of citizens in society by teaching politics, law, American history, and closely related subjects and disciplines. Additionally, civics education can mean hands-on opportunities for students to put learning into practice such as service learning, clubs, and/or opportunities for students to participate in school governance.” 

 All students have the right to a comprehensive civics education that prepares them to take part in our democracy. 

What Might a More Robust Civics Education Look Like?

The Civics Secures Democracy Act [HR1814] [S4384] was introduced in the US Senate earlier this year, with similar bills in the House, to fill some of the gaps in civics education. The bill would invest in states to support the expansion of civics curriculums and allow states to create programs tailored to their students’ needs, expanding civics knowledge and preparing students to be actively engaged in democracy. Notably, this is a bipartisan effort sponsored by Senators Coons, Cornyn, King, Inhofe, Kelly, and Cassidy and represents a shared value to cultivate civically engaged youth. The League supports bringing the Civics Secures Democracy Act for debate and passage to promote an informed population through K-12 education around the country.  

With this proposed investment, schools can offer students a more comprehensive civics education. Expanding civics education looks like going beyond civic knowledge, like history and politics, to include actionable skills and community values. It can do so through both a concrete curriculum and the incorporation of democracy into a school’s climate, culture, and leadership. This work envisions a country where more young people vote and discuss politics fluently, volunteer in their communities, and advocate for their values with their elected representatives.  

What is the Connection Between Civics Education and Democracy?

As the name of the Civics Secures Democracy Act indicates, civics and democracy are integrally linked. An informed and civically knowledgeable population can work together to achieve a more fair society and confidently lead the future of our democracy. Our legislators and education departments must ensure that future generations understand the workings of our country’s government and its history. Offering civics education at all levels is essential to fulfilling our obligation to secure our democracy.  

Over 20 years ago, the League of Women Voters launched its campaign Making Democracy Work®, focusing on five key indicators of a healthy democracy: voter participation, campaign finance reform, diversity of representation, civic education and knowledge, and civic participation. As a nonpartisan voting rights and democracy policy organization, the League values equipping future generations with the tools to inherit and lead a healthy American democracy. 

Civics Education and the Midterms 

The time is always right to equip young people with the tools to take part in our democracy. It is also particularly timely to examine how civics education is prioritized as we near midterm elections. Effective civics education yields increased participation in elections, which is the best way to ensure that our elected leadership reflects the values of the population.  

Make an Election Plan at VOTE411.org

There is a lot on the line in the upcoming midterms. Electing candidates who champion a free and fair democracy is as important as ever, and the midterms are just as important as presidential elections in advancing our democracy.  

For election information, you can use VOTE411.org to make your voting plan! VOTE411 provides the information that voters need to participate in every election successfully. Whether it’s local, state, or federal, voting in every election is vital to ensuring our laws and policies reflect the values and beliefs of our communities. 

Civics Education in Oregon

The Oregon Student Mock Election is an exciting experience-based educational program that involves participating students in the electoral process and demonstrates the importance of voting.

Students will vote for candidates and measures on an abbreviated Mock Election Ballot created just for them. All Oregon students, grades 6-12, are eligible.

For more information see: https://civicslearning.org/

Health Care Reform for the US

Are you concerned about US health care and how it operates? Do you want to help the LWV strengthen its position on this important issue? Here is an opportunity to join league members throughout the US to take action. LWV members work at the local, state, and national levels on various matters that the league considers important. From their study, they write and adopt Position Papers that other leagues may use to bolster their support or opposition to various legislative and election initiatives (not candidates). Read on and see how you can take direct action on Health Care reform.

HCR4US Toolkit: https://lwvhealthcarereform.org/#latest-newsletter.  

(From that page, you will also find a link to all past newsletters.)


This month, the ink is barely dry on LWV of Vermont’s new state position against PRIVATIZATION in Health Care, adopted at a special convention December 14.  Already we see Leagues in other states who might be eager to have their states adopt the position by concurrence.  My home state MA, for example, already has a bill in the House to force greater transparency in nursing home ownership to slow private equity (PE) raids on our medical assets.  CA, OR, and NY legislatures go one better: they have bills to *regulate* mergers and other transactions involving private equity which will let the states challenge such deals and also make them harder to pull off with PE’s customary secrecy. 

Of course, we’d love to have LWVUS join in advocacy against these predatory forms of private ownership, but that might be a heavier lift than we can manage for this year.  Still, if we could get delegates at the convention to adopt an update to the current LWVUS privatization position–based on Vermont’s–that one action would make it available to all the states to use within their state and local governments.  So, look in the newsletter for news on the whys and hows of LWVVT’s study for a new position.  Then it will be a little “deja vu all over again,” as health care advocates gear up for a grassroots campaign to help bring Vermont’s topic to the LWVUS Program Planning process (in January and February, for the June convention).In the newsletter, we also report on our continuing work on the intersection of Health Care with other issues, this month Climate, and also more news (and reflection) about AI.

HCR4US is a nationwide effort among LWV chapters at the state and local levels to promote a national LWV Position Paper on health care reform.

submitted by–Barbara Pearson (MA), Candy Birch (FL & KS), Jon Li (CA), MaryLynne Courtney (WA), with guest contributors Betty Keller (VT) and Judy Esterquest (WA).

Good Government, Transparency, and Citizen Participation

Citizen Participation and Access

“The League of Women Voters believes democratic government depends upon the informed and active participation of its citizens and requires that governmental bodies protect the citizen’s right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed actions, holding open meetings, and making public records accessible.” LWVUS Principles “We must promote an open governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive.”

League of Women Voters® of Oregon works to encourage active and informed participation in government and to increase understanding of major policy issues. The League seeks to empower citizens to understand governmental issues and to participate in the political process.

What does this mean for us? You can

1. Observe government in action: See our Observer Corps

Here is our recent invitation to participate.

One of the exciting developments of the last year in our local League of Women Voters Klamath chapter is the gathering momentum of the Observer Corps. We have been making a presence in the community, monitoring city and county meetings, such as the City Council, The Klamath County Commissioners, and the Klamath County School Board. It’s been amazing to see how much coverage a small core of people can accomplish. But we can accomplish so much more with your help. That’s why we invite any and all of you to join us in this very satisfying community work.

The National League of Women Voters encourages this activity at local chapters, not just to observe meetings, but also to make recommendations on behalf of the public interest, which we have already started to do with good results.

Perhaps it is best said in the words of Leslie Lowe: “It seems to me the best job we can do as LWV Klamath at this point is to show our elected officials that transparency and community involvement is very important, and they best not ignore that. So being present as the county develops a strategic plan is of value to make sure that they really consider the whole community and not just the folks that look like them.”

This is vital work for our time and certainly vital for our place. We are uncovering a general disregard for transparency and a lackluster attitude to community involvement in Klamath.

2. Make your voice heard: The League of Women Voters says,

Citizen’s Right to Know/Citizen Participation – (We) Protect the citizen’s right to know and facilitate citizen participation in government decision-making.

3. Become an informed voter

4. Vote in all elections and races

see- When We All Vote, US Vote Foundation

5. Support local groups that work fairly and democratically (emphasis on facts, research, fairness, inclusiveness, respect)

Rural Organizing Project (“Bridging Divides, Defending Dignity”)

Next Up Oregon

Common Cause

Conference on Civil and Human Rights

6. Help new voters

7. Learn about Oregon’s democratic participation rates

8. Research what other groups say about the meaning of good government.



What is Ranked Choice Voting?

What is it?

Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) has recently gained public attention across the U.S., and has been implemented in various state and local governmental elections.

The Oregon legislature has been holding hearings (March, 2023) on this matter while considering two potential laws. Become a better informed voter and learn more about this election method.

  • HB 2004 Establishes ranked choice voting as voting method for selecting winner of nomination for and election to offices of President of United States, United States Senator, Representative in Congress, Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer and Attorney General.
  • HB 3509 Establishes ranked choice voting as voting method for selecting winner of nomination for and election to nonpartisan state offices and county and city offices except where home rule charter applies.

Fair Vote says

How RCV works

Ranked choice voting (RCV) — also known as instant runoff voting (IRV) — improves fairness in elections by allowing voters to rank candidates in order of preference.

RCV is straightforward: Voters have the option to rank candidates in order of preference: first, second, third and so forth. Votes that do not help voters’ top choices win count for their next choice.

It works in all types of elections and supports more representative outcomes.

Oregon RCV says

A recent survey conducted by the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center found that only one-third of Oregonians think that the process for electing the governor and state legislators should stay the same. Many said that the current system is obsolete, and that in a world where third- and fourth-party candidates are entering races there needs to be a way to determine a winner that the majority of people support. 

Fortunately, there is a relatively simple way to do this and it’s called runoff elections. The theory is simple — if no single candidate gets more than half of the vote, then the two highest vote getters face off in a runoff election, mano a mano. We already do this for the office of commissioner for the Bureau of Labor and Industries. Earlier this year a special election for the seat vacated by Val Hoyle did not give any one of the three candidates a majority of the vote. So now voters have an opportunity to vote again, this time for the two who received the greatest number of votes in the May election.

From Time Magazine

From the Pew Charitable Trust

From Harvard Law School

From the City of Portland

From the Council of State Governments

From the Center for Civic Design (research)

From Tufts University Institute for Democracy

What do oregon County Clerks/Election Officers Say?

What does LWV Oregon say? Election Methods Position Adopted 2017

The League of Women Voters of Oregon recognizes that election methods affect how voters participate in our democracy, who can run for office, and who can get elected. Therefore, the League supports election methods that:

  • Encourage voter participation and voter engagement.
  • Encourage those with minority opinions to participate.
  • Are easy to use.
  • Are verifiable and auditable.
  • Promote access to voting.
  • Promote competitive elections.
  • Promote sincere voting over strategic voting.
  • Discourage negative campaigning.
  • Prevent political manipulation (e.g. Gerrymandering).
  • Are compatible with vote-by-mail elections.

The League of Women Voters of Oregon does not believe that plurality voting is the best method for promoting democratic choice in all circumstances.  For single-winner systems, the League supports ranked-choice voting; we do not support range or approval voting. The League of Women Voters of Oregon supports election systems that elect policy-making bodies–legislatures, councils, commissions, and boards–that proportionally reflect the people they represent. We support systems that promote stable government, but we do not support systems that protect the two-party system. The League of Women Voters of Oregon supports enabling legislation to allow local jurisdictions to explore alternative election methods. If an alternative election method is adopted, then funding for startup and voter education should be available. The League of Women Voters of Oregon does not support nonpartisan elections for state legislators. (Previous position) Adopted 2009 The League of Women Voters of Oregon believes that any election method should be evaluated on its ability to:

  • Promote voter participation.
  • Be simple and easy for voters to understand.
  • Be verifiable and auditable.
  • Promote access to voting.
  • Promote competitive elections.
  • Prevent political manipulation.
  • Be compatible with vote-by-mail elections.

The League supports enabling legislation to allow local jurisdictions to explore alternative election methods, e.g. instant runoff or fusion voting. If a local jurisdiction adopts an alternative election method, that jurisdiction should bear the costs of startup and voter education. Only after experience and evaluation at the local level should the state consider alternative election methods for statewide adoption. The League does not support nonpartisan elections for state legislators.

Get informed! Stay informed! Learn how your vote functions.

Do You Know About LWV’s Studies?


League of Women Voters® of Oregon (LWVOR) is a grassroots, nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government in order to build better communities statewide. LWVOR’s purposes are to influence public policy through education and advocacy, and to provide support for League members and the League organization.

League of Women Voters® of Oregon also works to encourage active and informed participation in government and to increase understanding of major policy issues. The League seeks to empower citizens to understand governmental issues and to participate in the political process. We seek to provide balanced, accurate, nonpartisan information to all Oregonians.

The League never supports or opposes any candidate or political party.

We study issues

  • Because we need detailed, reliable, carefully researched information.
  • So LWV members and citizens can reach their own conclusions.
  • To develop advocacy positions that can be used by our Action Team.

To request a hard copy of any of these reports, contact LWV of Oregon at lwvor@lwvor.org. Reports are free; however, there is a small charge to cover shipping. Some quantities may be limited. Many college and community libraries have copies as well.

You can find additional League studies, including national and other state studies, at the LWVUS Study Clearinghouse website.

Recent Study Updates

  1. Election Methods Informational Update, Adopted on February 10, 2023
  2. Caring for Our Children, Adopted on January 23, 2023

Recent Positions

  1. Pesticides and Biocides Study of 2021, adopted on January 19, 2023

Latest News from the Study Chair

As the LWVOR recently appointed Study Chair, I’m sharing my plan to bring our attention to what causes our league heart …to beat. Our interest in issues leads to League Study which results in writing our positions on issues, ultimately leading to ACTION and ADVOCACY. In the past, the League has encouraged our members to write and present a Study because this is the only way to create issue positions and, thus, the only way we may take action with ONE VOICE!

League members pledged 103 years ago to participate in government and defend democracy and to do so ONLY with accurate, balanced, shared, and nonpartisan understanding. That understanding comes from Study that was created by and shared with league members, and with our community and public policy makers in our government.

How does Study begin? A local League(s) will identify an issue or topic that is or will be addressed by the government through the creation of public policy, action, or legislation. A study committee forms with a designated leader. A title is declared, a time frame committed to, and ultimately, presentation, and approval for Study by their Board.

Once a Study is completed, consensus from members is given, and positions are created, it is archived and reviewed annually, usually in January. These Studies and their positions are neatly stored and accessible on our websites as tools for us to use when taking Action or Advocacy. Local, State, and National Leagues have created Studies and positions.

Let’s pause here to recognize that our interests in a particular issue by League individuals or as a group could also result in a white paper or a discussion group or a public forum. We recognize the truth that our eyes, ears, hearts, and brains may hunger for information, yet not always with the ultimate goal being…STUDY. The League encourages interest in various topics and interests, recognizing that the end goal may not be a Study.

Study will be an important topic during our LWVOR Convention, May 19-21st. Read the studies and concurrence to be presented to our league delegates on the Convention tab on our website.

Annie Goldner

LWVOR Interim Study Chair



LWV Klamath County also does local studies!

LWV Healthcare Reform

Mission: The website and our network are dedicated to educating and mobilizing League members to work toward legislation and other reforms that enact the goals of our LWVUS health care position, with a strong focus on expanded and improved Medicare for All (a single-payer system). The materials are varied for different audiences, and they include pointers to resources for those who want to delve more deeply, and/or would like to do programming for local League or community meetings.

Read the latest newsletter!

For this month, we explore health care in Rural areas, especially what it might mean for hastening fundamental change in health care administration. That is, it is not a description of how health systems are working in a rural setting, but rather a brief round-up of examples where they aren’t working.  We want to bring attention to what might be a brief window of opportunity to change directions.  For now, the hopeful note in the slogan of  National Rural Health Day, “the Power of Rural,” still resonates, especially if the public sector has less competition from the commercial sector and its lobbyists.  However, the non-profit financial watchdog organization, Private Equity Stakeholders Project, (PESP) has sounded the alarm that Private Equity is already “descending” on rural health. Their mission is to do the research and also work with communities to bring about change. 

The newsletter also shares a couple of pieces from our “mailbag” which continue the theme of greed that seems to be all over the media. This month, it’s  big Pharma Greed and unpunished insurance fraud

January, 2023 newsletter

Building Trust: Oregon Secretary of State

Oregon receives national praise for Voting in Oregon Feels Good ad campaign.

Last year, Secretary Fagan and the Oregon Elections Division used an innovative approach to fight false election information: ads! The Voting In Oregon Feels Good campaign addressed issues like election security and Oregon’s new postmark rule. The ads were viewed 14 million times during the fall of 2022 and drove a 259% increase in traffic to election information online. Hundreds of thousands of Oregonians viewed accurate information who probably wouldn’t have without this public education campaign. 

The campaign is receiving national praise for its innovative use of ads to “pre-bunk” false information. Staff members from the Oregon Secretary of State’s office presented the campaign at the National Association of State Elections Directors annual conference on February 17. 

State Archives Featured Black In Oregon in February.

As part of our recognition of Black History Month, the State Archives featured Black In Oregon, an online exhibit that uses archival records to illuminate the courage and resilience of Black pioneers who built lives for themselves and their families in Oregon.  

The exhibit puts their experiences in context with chronologies and related resources before telling their stories augmented by photos and original documents.  

Visit the exhibit online.  

Secretary Fagan Released the 2023 Protect Our Democracy Agenda.

Anti-democracy forces in our country are eroding trust and threatening our right to vote. In Oregon, we have a strong pro-democracy track record and the 2023 Protect Our Democracy Agenda is a roadmap for how Oregon can defend its record.  

The Protect our Democracy Agenda includes five areas of focus where we can build on Oregon’s history as a pro-democracy state. They include Investing in free, fair, accessible and secure elections, expanding access to our democracy, election security, successfully implementing campaign finance reform and updates to election laws 

Read the release or see the Secretary’s letter to state legislators, calling on them to lead in the fight to protect our democracy.  

The League of Women Voters’ Position on Defending Democracy

Citizen Participation and Access

“The League of Women Voters believes democratic government depends upon the informed and active participation of its citizens and requires that governmental bodies protect the citizen’s right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed actions, holding open meetings, and making public records accessible.” LWVUS Principles “We must promote an open governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive.” LWVUS Representative Government position Citizen participation and access are also important parts of LWVOR positions on Land Use and the Judicial System, and LWVUS positions on Campaign Finance, Citizens Right to Know/ Citizen Participation, Environmental Protection and Pollution Control, Natural Resources Public Participation, United Nations, and International Relations Trade Policy. Because of these scattered positions, we collect here our combined history of advocacy for Citizen Participation and Access.

JOIN US. We work to build a free, fair, participatory democracy with open elections and a majority rule.

People Not Politicians Ballot Measure

From the People Not Politicians coalition.

What is redistricting?

Redistricting is the process of redrawing the lines that define political districts. For legislative and congressional districts, this typically occurs after the completion of the federal census every ten years. Redistricting should change districts to more accurately reflect the changes in population and interests of constituents.

Learn more HERE.

Current Oregon Process

Every 10 years, the US Census requires that states must re-draw legislative and congressional electoral districts to account for population changes. Currently, these legislative and congressional districts in Oregon are drawn by legislators and subject to a veto by the Governor.

Redistricting in Oregon

  • New district lines based on the 2020 census will be especially important because Oregon is projected to gain a sixth U.S. congressional seat due to population growth.
  • Only four states in the West – including Oregon – don’t have some form of independent redistricting.
  • Only twice since 1911 has the Oregon legislature passed a redistricting plan that became the final adopted plan. Oregon politicians have failed more often than not.

Read more about Oregon’s history of redistricting.

The League of Women Voters of Oregon and Redistricting.

Position statement on Redistricting – Adopted 2007

Congressional and legislative redistricting should advance the fundamental purposes of representative democracy and a republican form of government by affording the people a meaningful choice in electing their representatives and holding the government accountable to the people. The League of Women Voters of Oregon believes that the Oregon legislative and congressional redistricting system should be efficient, adequately funded, based on well-defined criteria, subject to a reasonable and effective timetable, and have an open and public process.

  1. Any redistricting plan should assure that voters are effectively able to hold their public officials accountable, responsible, and responsive, and be based on the following criteria:
    1. Adhere to all federal constitutional and legal requirements, such as that every district should have equal population, be contiguous, and meet the requirements of the Voting Rights Act;
    2. Promote competitiveness and partisan fairness;
    3. Consider other criteria, such as respect for political subdivisions, communities of interest, and geographic barriers.
    4. Any redistricting plan should be developed independently of the Legislature in a nonpartisan manner with substantial public input. The Legislature may be afforded an opportunity to review the plan and accept or reject it.
    5. The Oregon Supreme Court should promptly review and rule on any challenge to a redistricting plan and require adjustments if the criteria have not been met.
    6. Oregon should conduct redistricting only once during each decade following the federal census.

Do you believe in Fair Voter Representation? Volunteer!

The LWVOR is part of and is a leader of the People Not Politicians coalition. You may already know that PNP has refiled its redistricting initiative for 2024 as IP 13 and IP 14. We are preparing for the time when we receive certified ballot titles and begin gathering signatures in earnest for only one of these petitions. Part of our plan is to mail a new petition to many of those voters who signed IP 57 two years ago. To do this we have created an online process to verify the IP 57 signatures with voter registration records and add them to a database. We can then use that database for future mailings and other purposes. You can do this volunteer work from home using your home computer and a website. Very little computer skill is needed for this work, and you may do the work as you have time available. If you can help, please contact Chris Cobey or Norman Turrill.