In the past students have represented a very low percentage of voters nationwide, but there are so many issues that apply directly to us and our numbers are continuing to grow. Over 55,000 college students registered to vote for this election throughout Oregon, and political organizations here on campus hope to keep increasing those numbers. It’s important that we as students raise our voices and speak up about what we believe in.
If you still are working on filling out your ballot, you have until 8 pm tonight to turn it in to one of the three drop boxes here in town, including The Valley Library, The Public Library and the Senior Citizens Center. If you’re wondering how the ballot measures apply to your life directly, check out these quick thoughts:
1. Measure 91:
Voting yes on this measure would legalize recreational marijuana use for those in Oregon over 21 years old while retaining the current medical marijuana laws. There are already 4 medical marijuana dispensaries in Corvallis alone, and the marijuana business is continuing to grow and change with the times and changing opinions of the voter base. Voting No on this measure would retain the current prohibition of recreational marijuana and keep the medical marijuana laws already present.
2. Measure 86:
Voting yes on this ballot measure would amend the constitution and require legislation to establish a fund for Oregonians seeking post-secondary education in a college or a career training program. This gives the state authority to take on debt to finance the fund. Voting no would mean a rejection of this fund and the extension of credit and incurring debt for this program. This measure is crucial because it would give open up opportunities for students who may not be able to afford higher education and give them better career opportunities in the future.
3. Measure 89:
Voting yes on this measure would mean amending the state constitution so that the state and any political subdivision cannot legally deny or restrict equality of rights because of a person’s sex. Voting no would retain current prohibitions on the law that may restrict or deny privileges and rights because of sex.
It’s a no brainer why this measure is so important, because though we live in a very accepting and open community here at Oregon State it is still important that our equal rights are legally set in stone. Female students and workers here on campus deserve to be treated the same as their male counterparts in terms of their workplace and other areas of their public life.
4. Measure 88:
A yes vote on this measure would mean special four year driver’s licenses would be made available to Oregon residents without requiring proof of legal residence here in the United States. This vote would be important to international students or those who may have immigrated here illegally as children with their families, as well as those that feel citizens who live here should be able to have the right to drive just as they do. A no vote on this measure would mean special driver cards would not be made available to those who would qualify.
5. Measure 92:
A yes vote on this measure, which if passed would be effective as of January 2016, would require the labeling of genetically engineered food (raw or packaged) by retailers, suppliers and manufacturers. A no vote would mean the current legislation would be retained and there would be no requirements to label genetically engineered food.
If you need a little extra incentive to turn in your ballot today, keep an eye out on our social media channels (Twitter and Instagram) for oyur chance to win some free #CosmoVotes swag! Also, be on the lookout for HC Oregon State staff members handing out stickers and necklaces near the ballot boxes to celebrate your vote!