november 2020 election

Giorgio Travatos, Mädi, Wikipedia Creative Commons License/fotografierende, Longmire,

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.

Representing Bend has become one of the most expensive jobs in Oregon state politics. Campaigns for House District 54 have broken a combined $1 million in contributions, with a majority coming from Republican backers hoping to keep a seat with statewide consequences.

Rachael McDonald

A measure on the ballot in most of Lane County would provide reliable funding for the Upper Willamette Soil and Water Conservation District.

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.

If you find yourself losing interest at the mere mention of the state treasurer, consider a few things:

The person in charge of Oregon’s treasury has a finger on every tax dollar that comes into state coffers. Their decisions can dictate how cheaply Oregon is able to borrow money, and therefore how efficiently those tax dollars are spent on major projects. And they help chart the course for around $100 billion in investments that play a major role in addressing Oregon’s ongoing pension crisis.

Surrounded by tangles of burned metal and charred trees on a recent afternoon, Cliff Bentz surveys the destruction of the Almeda Drive Fire at the Royal Oaks Mobile Manor in Phoenix Oregon.

“This is one of the saddest things that I’ve ever seen,” he says.

Thousands of people were displaced in the September fire that destroyed 2,357 residential structures and resulted in three deaths. Bentz says he’s seen similar damage in Northern California where friends lost homes in recent years.

“Sadly, I’m familiar with this, but never this graphic,” he says.

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.

Oregon Athletics

Oregon assistant men’s basketball Coach Mike Mennenga knows hard work can pay off. During his tenure, Oregon has won three regular season Pac-12 Championships and two Pac-12 Tournament Championships. 

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.

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.

Program Date: October 2, 2020

Air Date: October 5, 2020

From the City Club of Eugene:

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.

Brian Bull / KLCC

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

Shortly after fires ripped through her county, forcing people to evacuate, Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker’s phone started to ring.

People were worried about their homes — and their right to vote.

"We got phone calls and emails, people saying, ‘I have been displaced. How can I get my ballot?'’ Walker said.


From the City Club of Eugene:

This might be the closest deadline miss in Oregon political history. State officials say the Oregon Republican Party’s statement for the state voters’ pamphlet arrived 29 seconds too late and won’t appear in the guide mailed to voters for the November election.

“We have to apply deadlines equally for everyone,” Laura Fosmire, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Bev Clarno, said in a statement. “Anyone wishing to submit information to the Voters’ Pamphlet has several weeks to do so and we recommend avoiding waiting until the last minute for this reason.”

Backers of an initiative aimed at ending political gerrymandering in Oregon lost their final legal attempt to win a spot on the November ballot.

Laura Fosmire, a spokeswoman for Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno, confirmed Wednesday that the measure “will not appear on the ballot” as the result of a new decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mick Haupt / Unsplash

Congressional Democrats – including House Representative Peter DeFazio of Oregon – are pledging to keep the U.S. Postal Service funded and operational.  And they - and other proponents of vote-by-mail - are pushing back against the Trump Administration's claims that such votes are at risk for fraud.

Brian Bull; Skarlatos Facebook page; EPD

While riots in Portland and Eugene have subsided in recent weeks, they remain a talking point in Oregon’s 4th Congressional District race between Republican challenger Alek Skarlatos, and incumbent Democrat Peter DeFazio.

Brian Bull / KLCC

A Black activist who’s been at the forefront of many protests and marches this year says he’s now running for Eugene Mayor as a write-in candidate.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan has hit the brakes on an effort to dramatically alter how Oregon draws its legislative and congressional districts.

In a ruling Tuesday, Kagan granted an emergency stay that will halt, for now, a push by government watchdog groups and industry players to land a measure on the November ballot placing authority for those districts in the hands of a nonpartisan commission.

Eugene Public Library

In November, Eugene voters will decide whether or not to renew a five year levy for the Eugene Public Library. The current levy, approved by voters in 2015, provides the library with 2.7 million dollars every year. This funding is set to expire in June 2021. 

U.S. Capitol /

One of Oregon’s U.S. Senators says he’s not speculating now on whether the Democrats will take the Senate in November.

An initiative to allow the therapeutic use of psilocybin in Oregon has qualified for the November ballot.  If approved by voters, Oregon would be the first state to allow some legal use of the drug, which is found in psychedelic mushrooms.

Backers of the initiative, who collected well over the 112,020 valid signatures needed to qualify, said they believe licensed therapy using the drug can help treat depression and anxiety.

Karen Richards / KLCC News


During a recent Bethel School board meeting, members discussed putting a bond on the November election ballot. The funds would be used to update buildings and provide more student resources.