Measure 54

Jeff Alworth

[Note: over the next few weeks, I'll be posting on each of the ballot measures.  This is the first in the series.]

Title: Standardizes Voting Eligibility For School Board Elections With Other State And Local Elections
Sponsor: Oregon Legislature
Type: Constitutional
What it Does: A housekeeping measure that lowers the voting age in school board elections to 18.
What it Costs: $0

This is a straightforward change to the Oregon constitution to bring laws in alignment.  Article 8, Section 6 stipulates that voters in school board elections are 21 years old.  It pre-dates the federal law that lowered the voting age to 18 in the 1970s.  In practice, 18-year-olds do vote in these elections, and this measure just makes it the law, as well.

Although most voters rightly resist tinkering with the constitution, this is the kind of change that actually makes it more coherent.  It looks like a no-brainer.


  • admiral_naismith (unverified)

    I was planning on just voting no on all of them and keeping it simple. There ain't nothing on the menu that I particularly like.

    This one seems sensible, so I figure it'll pass without my help. Maybe I'll leave that one blank.

    Other than getting Jeff Merkley into the Senate, which is actually important, and some of the ballot measures, which are awful and MUST be voted down, this election seems like a joke to me. Back when we had punchcard ballots, I used to be sorely tempted to punch out the chads so that they made a picture of a bunny or something. I'm a bad person!

  • Eric Parker (unverified)

    "This one seems sensible, so I figure it'll pass without my help"

    Sounds like a good idea. I will think on it.

    Until then - NO on everything. Plain, quick, easy, and simple.

    And Jeff...when you get to the Sizemore-Parks-Mannix measures you can save a lot of time in your life and us a lot of grief by grouping them all together and just telling us to vote NO just on the fact that they were written by or supported by these three evil people. thats all the argument you need to know with them.

  • (Show?)

    I think I'm going to vote NO.

    18 year olds can't serve in the legislature, why should we let them serve on local school boards. It's bad enough they can be Mayor's and City Councilors. Allow them on school boards is just a stepping stone away from the legislature...oh wait

  • (Show?)

    I ran for school board at the age of 18 - I was a senior in high school at the time.

    It'd be nice to get the law corrected so that legally those 18, 19, and 20 can vote for school board. Nothing like denying them a right that is guaranteed to them upon turning 18.

    Having been involved in some pretty hotly contested school board races before, I wouldn't be surprised to see some kind of challenge in a close race because a bunch of people who couldn't legally vote on the race did indeed vote.

    This is one of those no-brainer fixes that needs to be made. If we all sit back and say "it'll pass without me," it won't.

  • Stefan (unverified)

    "18 year olds can't serve in the legislature, why should we let them serve on local school boards."

    Right, because why on earth would we want school-aged young adults having any input on the conditions in their schools? That's crazy talk!

  • Sen. Suzanne Bonamici (unverified)

    Measure 54 should be an easy yes. In 1948, voters amended the Oregon Constitution to require that citizens meet certain qualifications to vote in school elections, including that they be at least 21 and be able to read and write English. Those requirements have been found to be either unconstitutional or in violation of the Federal Voting Rights Act. Measure 54 simply repeals the section of the Oregon Constitution that includes those unenforceable requirements.

    And kudos to the Grant High School students who brought this issue to the attention of the Legislature.

  • Joshua Todd (unverified)

    I know everyone's inclination is to vote NO on everything but the pairing of 57 and 61 are important. If they both pass (which given past electoral successes of Measure 11 and is likely they will) the measure with the highest vote tally will become law. They both create mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent crimes (which I disagree with) but if passed measure 61 will cost close to 1 Billion dollars and force cuts in services, education, and lead to a spike in our prison popuation. 57 has a smaller impact and will limit our financial obligation. No on 61, YES on 57.

  • evan pulvers (unverified)
    <h2>As a Grant High School student who brought this to the legislature, I can say that we hoped Measure 54 would do more than simply update outdated language - we hoped it would give Oregonians a chance to look long and hard at Oregon's racial history, demonstrated by the literacy test (a less offensive law then the exclusion laws, for example) and many others, but also to look at the laws that stand today that have discriminatory effect, if not intent. There are many, and I am eager to see which high school class, AARP group, or concerned citizen works to get them repealed.</h2>

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