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December 18 2018
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Oregon’s Special Election Tuesday Starts The 2018 Progressive Wave
by Willamette Week
  Sunday January 21, 2018 - 8:50 AM
 
This Tuesday, Oregonians are joining millions of progressives who have turned out in record numbers to vote in Special Elections across the country since Trump took office.

In Georgia's 2017 Special Election, progressive turnout "blew past typical off-year levels." In Virginia, turnout was the "highest in 20 years for a gubernatorial race." The "eye-popping turnout" trend continued in Alabama.

The New York Times, FiveThirtyEight, Politico and pollsters nationwide predict high turnout among "millennials, furious women and minority voters" will bring about an historic progressive wave year in 2018. That wave starts right here in Oregon, and voters can be a part of it if they return their ballots by Tuesday at 8pm.

With just one measure on the ballot in Oregon, voting is even easier than usual. Measure 101 protects healthcare for Oregon children, seniors and people with disabilities. Funding for the state's essential Medicaid health care system for low-income families is at stake. A group supported by the Oregon "Make America Great Again" group is working to remove funding for the program.

If 101 fails, "Oregon would be forced to slash funding for Medicaid, leaving hundreds of thousands of children and adults at risk of losing their care," according to Senator Jeff Merkley (D) who kicked off a pro-Measure 101 rally last Saturday with fellow Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (D).

Sen. Merkley told hundreds of volunteers gathered in southeast Portland: "Last year we stood together to protect health care from being decimated by federal funding cuts. This year we are standing together to protect it from those who would break it at the state level."

Over 175 organizations across the state have endorsed a 'Yes' on Measure 101, including nurses, doctors, firefighters and patient advocates like Disability Rights Oregon. The opposition to Measure 101 is led by two Republican state lawmakers.

As the kick-off to an incredibly important election year, a big turnout in this race has real national implications. Oregon hasn't held a statewide election since Trump entered office. Experts have indicated turnout in Georgia, Virginia and Alabama was high due to a Trump backlash. Oregon's historically high voter participation rates and strong disapproval of Trump make it likely that this trend will continue in Tuesday's Special Election.

While how someone votes is a secret, whether they vote is a public record. Given progressive voters' interest in turning the tide, they will want their name on the list of people who voted in Tuesday's Special Election. The only way to do that is to find their ballot, fill it in and get it in by Tuesday, January 23rd at 8pm.


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