We have high expectations of our candidates for governor. We expect them to listen without rendering immediate judgment, to learn and lead. We expect them to be problem solvers and to be people of character.
That’s why it came as a big surprise that most of the candidates have spotty voting records. According to a newspaper survey, Republican contenders Allen Alley missed 22 of 42 elections, Chris Dudley missed seven of 13 elections and Bill Sizemore missed 14 of 42 elections. Democratic ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber, meantime, missed five of the last 13 elections.
Of course, we support free will and individual choice to vote or not to vote. We support the Oregon spirit of live and let live.
However, Oregon also prides itself in dedication to individual responsibility. And since citizen involvement is critical to a democracy, and responsible participatory democracy is necessary toward a high-functioning state, it’s important that governor candidates worth their salt vote every chance they get.
We reject whatever excuses or tortured rationalisms the candidates have for not voting. Oregonians’ current vote-by-mail system makes it easier than ever to vote in elections, including the one currently under way to decide Measures 66 and 67.
Ordinary Oregonians should make sure to vote in the election by the Jan. 26 deadline. Governor candidates should show some old-fashioned Oregon gumption and also vote. If they’re having a tough time affording a
44-cent stamp, we’ll be glad to foot the bill.