We are a non-partisan, non-profit group that works to increase participation in politics and government accountability in Oregon. Our work focuses on: Research (following the money) and Action (creating accessible politics, accountable government).
We need a number of reforms to realize a truly democratic system in Oregon. Democracy Reform Oregon is keeping an eye on a wide range of democracy reforms. Follow the links below for the latest on democracy reform opportunities in Oregon.
Current Democracy Reform Oregon Campaigns:
Campaign finance reform and Voter-Owned Elections
Voter-Owned Elections is a practical, proven reform that puts voters in control of the electoral process. Candidates that demonstrate broad community support can qualify for full public funding for their campaigns, freeing them from the private money chase to spend more time with constituents talking about community issues.
Ethics and lobby reform
Now is the time to make significant changes to the way our legislators interact with lobbyists. In addition, we have the opportunity to greatly improve the public’s ability to track the dollars behind lobbying activities. Oregonians who want transparency and accountability in government must make their voices heard before this historic legislative session ends.
Media and democracy
Every election season our airwaves are flooded with expensive campaign ads making it harder and harder for candidates independent of big money backers to get their message to voters. One of the biggest expenses in many campaigns is buying time on public airwaves from broadcast TV stations.
Other democracy reform issues
- Election Day Voter Registration
Currently the registration deadline in Oregon is 21 days before the election. Several states allow registration up to and on Election Day. This deadline increases voter turn out and is considered by many to be an important step to increase voter participation. A national group, Demos, has a helpful Election Day Registration Resource Page.
- Proportional Representation and Instant Runoff Voting
Alternative voting systems ensure tht every vote counts and all voters are represented. An excellent resource on this topic is the Center for Voting and Democracy at www.fairvote.org
- Fusion Voting
Fusion voting is the electoral process where two or more political parties can support a common candidate, pooling the votes for all of those parties. This system allows minor parties to influence a candidate’s platform by having a concrete way to show support for candidates who pay attention to their interests.Fusion voting was once widespread in the United States. In the late 19th century, the major parties combined to stop the practice, taking away a powerful tool for minor parties. Currently, there is a movement in Oregon to legalize fusion voting. For more information, visit the National Open Ballot Project.