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Brad Avakian: Oregon's Labor Commissioner

Practice makes a more perfect democracy

by Brad Avakian.

Like any healthy habit, voting is something we learn to do. It doesn’t always come naturally.

Getting our young people in the habit of voting early will go a long way toward building the kind of robust, participatory civic life our democracy needs. That’s why I’m calling for the creation of the Oregon Youth Vote – a program to get young Oregonians ready to vote when they turn 18.

Here’s how the plan works: Each school will receive Youth Vote ballots and parents will be able to request Youth Vote ballots be mailed to their home. In civics classes and at the dinner table, young people will be able to discuss the issues and candidates on the ballot and go through the process of filling out their own ballot.

Of course, Youth Vote ballots will not count towards the official results. After the election, however, they will be tallied to show what young Oregonians thought about the issues and candidates.

Going through the process and seeing the results will help the next generation of Oregonians develop a lifelong habit of voting.

As Secretary of State, building a stronger democracy will be my top priority and the Oregon Youth Vote is an important way for us to get there.

Learn more about my plan for engaging young people in civic life and SHARE!

Posted on March 12, 2016.

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