Politics & Government

Politics & Government


Oregon 2nd District Representative Greg Walden has served in Congress since 1999. He's the only Republican member of Oregon's delegation. He's not running again in 2020. Walden spoke with KLCC's Barbara Dellenback about communicating with his constituents, what's changed in government, and why he's retiring from public service.  

Melorie Begay/KLCC News

The Eugene Police Department is working to ensure people can safely exercise their right to vote in this year’s election.

Melorie Begay / KLCC

With 10 days until the 2020 election, 31% of Oregon’s registered voters had already returned their ballots. 915,477 ballots had been returned as of the last numbers released on Friday, Oct. 23. This compares to a 17% return rate 10 days before the 2016 election.

Giorgio Travatos, Unsplash.com/ Mädi, Wikipedia Creative Commons License/fotografierende, Unsplash.com/Michael Longmire, Unsplash.com

Oregon voters have until Nov. 3rd to make up their minds on 4 statewide ballot measures. The issues are campaign finance limits, raising taxes on cigarettes and taxing vape products for the first time, allowing the therapeutic use of psilocybin and decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of drugs.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Many Oregonians want to make their votes really count this year, and are asking about late or missing ballots in the mail. KLCC’s Brian Bull talked to Cheryl Betschart about this concern. She’s the Lane County Clerk Elections Manager.

Oregon and Washington voters are turning out in droves

Oct 20, 2020

Pacific Northwesterners appear anxious to vote this year.

At ballot drop boxes in Multnomah County on Monday, there was a steady stream of early voters delivering ballots.

Some people just wanted to check voting off their to-do lists. Others, like Michael Sylvester, said they are worried about postal service disruptions and fake drop boxes.

“I’m making sure this is in early so that we can make sure there is no funky illegal elections,” Sylvester told OPB.

He plans to check online later, to ensure his ballot has been counted.




Springfield City Council members discussed the process for voting on the Interim Mayor at Monday night’s regular meeting. After taking a vote, the city will choose a new Mayor after the Nov. election. 

City Club of Eugene screengrab

KLCC’s Brian Bull moderates this forum between two of the three candidates for Oregon’s 4th Congressional District. This district includes the southern half of Oregon’s coastal counties, including Coos, Curry, Douglas, Lane, and Benton counties and most of Linn and Josephine counties.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

Voters in Benton County will be the first in Oregon to use a method of voting that allows them to rank candidates in their order of preference.

Measure 110 decriminalizes the personal possession of small amounts of illicit drugs, including cocaine, heroin, Oxycodone and methamphetamine. It also reduces the penalties for possessing larger amounts.

It funds health assessments, addiction treatment, harm reduction and other services for people with addiction disorders by reallocating cannabis tax dollars and savings from law enforcement making fewer drug arrests.

Brian Bull, Alek Skarlatos campaign website / KLCC

Voters in Oregon’s Fourth Congressional District haven’t sent a Republican to Congress since 1972. But the current race between incumbent Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield, and GOP challenger Alek Skarlatos is drawing national attention to a degree not recently seen in the district.

Liam James Doyle / NPR

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding hearings on President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Program Date: October 9, 2020

Air Date: October 12, 2020

From The City Club of Eugene:

House of Representatives candidates for two districts were interviewed on Facebook on Friday, Oct. 9  as part of City Club of Eugene’s coverage of election issues and candidates. The program, featuring candidates for House Districts 8 and 11, is cosponsored by League of Women Voters of Lane County. The program’s coordinators are Joel Korin and Fred Roberts.



Rachael McDonald

As the deadline to register to vote in Oregon approaches this Tuesday, October 13th, elections officials are confident in the state’s vote by mail process.

Smithsonian Institution

Despite many disruptions this year, the 2020 Census put in extra effort to tally hard-to-reach communities, including Indigenous people.

Wikimedia commons

Former Oregon 4th District Representative Jim Weaver has died. The Democrat served in Congress from 1975 to 1987.

Program Date: October 2, 2020

Air Date: October 5, 2020

From the City Club of Eugene:

Wikimedia Commons

Springfield City Councilors will choose an interim Mayor from amongst themselves. That’s the upshot of Monday’s work session.

City Club of Eugene Facebook Page

Program Date: September 25, 2020

Air Date: September 28, 2020

From the City Club of Eugene:

This week’s City Club program features the candidates for Lane County Commissioner, District 3 (South Eugene), Joel Iboa and Laurie Trieger.

Hank Stern

Oregon Democratic US Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley were in Eugene Saturday voicing their concerns over what they say is an "unfair rush" to seat a new Supreme Court Justice.

Brian Bull / KLCC

People who are displaced by wildfires in Oregon can still receive and cast their ballot during this fall’s elections.

Program Date: September 18, 2020

Air Date: September 21, 2020

From the City Club of Eugene:

Elizabeth Gabriel / KLCC News


About 50 people gathered Saturday night outside of the Federal Courthouse in Eugene. The vigil was in response to the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.



From the City Club of Eugene:

State of Oregon

Oregon's state fire marshal has been placed on leave as firefighters are battling deadly blazes in the state.

U.S. Census Bureau

Last month, the U.S. Census Bureau revised an extended deadline from October 31st to the end of this month.  Many groups – including Native Americans in Oregon – aren’t pleased at the decision. 

Kyra Buckley / KLCC

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners has voted to pause the county’s Phase Two re-opening until at least September 29.

Credit Matthew Brady, Public Domain / https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/File:Lane-joseph.png

In spite of its controversial namesake, Lane County will remain “Lane County”, for the time being. 

Aubrey Bulkeley

About 150 people attended a rally Saturday at the Main Post Office in downtown Eugene. It was part of a nationwide event in response to recent comments by President Trump about mail-in voting and Postmaster General Louis Dejoy’s decision to remove mailboxes and sorting machines.