Chalk the Vote!

Celebrating the Right to Vote

In August 2020, the Oregon Women’s History Consortium(OWHC) is encouraging Oregonians to decorate their sidewalks and stairs. In 1913, sidewalk chalk messages were used by women demanding the right to vote. In 2020, we celebrate the many times when our nation has expanded the right to vote to more and more citizens. We love this idea for having fun while highlighting the importance of the vote! #ChalkTheVoteOR

Sidewalk Chalk Messages Hailing Expanded Voting Rights

This fun project fits the LWV mission!

Defending voting rights is central to the mission of the League of Women Voters: “Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.” Our democracy depends on voter participation! Let’s continue the fight to expand the right to vote and to combat voter suppression. We hope you will also speak out for voting rights with chalk messages on your sidewalk.

As the OWHC notes:

The year 2020 is the:

  • 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment (removed race, color or prior servitude from denying voting rights)
  • 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment (removed sex from denying voting rights)
  • 56th anniversary of the 24th Amendment (ended the poll tax)
  • 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act (prohibited racial discrimination in voting)
  • 49thanniversary of the 26th Amendment: right to vote cannot be denied on account of age for those 18 or older (This amendment has roots in an Oregon legal case, Oregon v. Mitchell1970)

The week for writing chalk messages is August 23-29th. August 26th is the day the 19th Amendment became part of the U.S. Constitution. To learn more about #ChalktheVoteOR, click here.

League Submits Brief to Supreme Court

Support for Limiting MoNey in Politics

The League of Women Voters of Oregon and the League of Women Voters of Portland have submitted a Friend of the Court Brief (Amicus Brief) to the Oregon Supreme Court. We are supporting the right of voters to limit campaign contributions in Multnomah County elections. In 2016, Multnomah County voters passed Ballot Measure 26-184 with 89% yes votes! It was an outstanding victory for reforming money in politics. If enacted, the measure would limit campaign contributions to $500 or less per person for each candidate. It would not allow contributions to candidates from corporations. It also would require that candidates disclose their five largest donors in campaign ads.

The League strongly believes in reducing the influence of money in politics. So we support Multnomah County in arguing that the measure  should take effect. You can read our Brief here: S066445_amicus_brief_lwvor

The Case

The case before the Oregon Supreme Court is about the constitutionality of campaign contribution limits in Oregon.

Opponents of the measure argue that limiting campaign contributions violates the free speech clause in Oregon’s Constitution. However, 45 other states have limits on contributions to candidates and 37 of them have free speech clauses in their constitutions. There is persuasive evidence that large donations give donors more access to lawmakers and more influence over the laws that are passed or defeated. In addition, Oregon is the only state that doesn’t identify the sources of funding for political ads. Our Brief cites these reasons to show that the measure is constitutional.

We understand that the Supreme Court will hear this case on November 1, 2019.