Current Issues

6/28/13: Supreme Court Ruling Opens Door to Widespread Voter Suppression

In its ruling on Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder on Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court erased fundamental protections against racial discrimination in voting that have been critical in protecting our democracy for more than four decades. The Court ruled unconstitutional Section 4 of the landmark Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965, thereby stripping the VRA of a key provision used to ensure equal access to the vote in states with histories of racial discrimination in voting.

This is a mistake!

To read more about this, visit here.

5/3/13: League Expresses Frustration Over Lack of Presidential Action on Campaign Finance Reform

On April 29th, the League joined reform groups in sending a letter to President Obama expressing deep concern about the nation’s corrupt campaign finance system. The letter expresses extreme disappointment and frustration with the President’s failure to provide meaningful leadership or to take effective action to solve this problem facing our country.

To read the letter visit this offsite location.

3/26/13: Keep The Budget Clean

For the first time in 4 years the U.S. Senate is expected to pass a federal budget. In order to maintain a good budget, we need your help to reject bad environmental amendments that will put the health and safety of our children and our future at risk. Tell your Senators to keep the budget clean of bad environmental amendments that could destroy our climate and harm public health.

During floor debate on this legislation hundreds of amendments will be offered and some of those amendments will gut the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency, reverse regulations on limiting carbon pollution and force the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Stand up today and tell your Senators that the environment shouldn’t be a bargaining chip in the federal budget. Tell your Senators to put people before polluters by protecting our environment, fighting climate change and saying no to the Keystone XL Pipeline.

2/7/13: LWVUS Legislative Priorities for 2013 (NEW)

The LWVUS Board established the following as Legislative Priorities for 2013:
Money in Politics and the many facets of Election Reform.

In addition, the following were included as a second tier of focus for 2013:
Climate Change, Gun Safety and Immigration.

Other issues, such as Health Care Defense and Budget/Taxes may be acted on as opportunities arise for League action, if they do not interfere with action on an LWVUS priority, and it appears the LWVUS can make an impact.

The national Board considered many issues and the responses from League members suggesting Legislative Priorities. The decisions were based on what issues are likely to come before the 113th Congress, the opportunities to make an impact, program decisions made by members at the last Convention, member interest, and resources available to manage these priorities effectively. The national Board reviews these priorities throughout the year, making changes if necessary.

12-3-12: Read the LWVOR’s Letter that was emailed to all Oregon Congressional Delegates telling them to ‘Fix the Fiscal Cliff’. Tell your U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative today!

11-15-12: Here’s the national League’s letter sent to Congress saying “Fix The Fiscal Cliff!”. You Too Can Take Action Here!

9/26/12: The LWVOR board has released their positions on Oregon Ballot Measures that will be on all state ballots for the November 6th general election. The last day to register in Oregon is October 16th, which if you’ve lived in Oregon before, you can do online at Secretary of State’s Election website.

7/18/12: The Disclose Act 2012 has been filibustered out of debate in the Senate twice this week. What will it take to drive home the importance and need for disclosure of political financing? Read what the national League of Women Voters is doing about it.

Climate Change Day is Saturday, May 5, 2012. Here’s an opportunity to join in with others around the globe to speak out in favor climate change efforts before it’s too late. Check out and Connect the Dots for more information on how you can organize a community event.

Guest editorial on occupy movement published in the Oregonian

Letter to Governor Kitzhaber regarding his decision on the death penalty in Oregon

LWVOR Statement of Principles on Health Care

(Based on LWVUS Health Care Position)

The League of Women Voters of Oregon has worked hard to ensure access to affordable, quality health care for all residents and to ensure the protection of patients’ rights. We favor a system that meets the following criteria:

  • Provides access to a basic level of quality care for every U.S. resident (universal coverage);
  • Includes coverage for the prevention of disease, health promotion and education, primary care (including prenatal and reproductive health), acute care, long-term care, and mental health care (including treatment for drug and alcohol addiction and developmental disabilities);
  • Contains effective cost-control strategies;
  • Is financed through general taxes in place of individual insurance premiums (national health insurance plan);
  • Permits consumers to purchase services or insurance coverage beyond the basic level; and
  • Ensures that services are equitably distributed.
  • The League recognizes that the equitable allocation of resources may become problematic. The League recommends strategies such as allocating medical resources to underserved areas, training health care professionals in needed fields of care, standardizing basic levels of service, using community rating instead of experience rating and establishing insurance pools for businesses and organizations.
  • The League believes that the ability of a patient to pay for services should not be a consideration in the allocation of medical services. In the event it becomes impossible to provide full services for all patients, the limited resources should be allocated based on the following criteria considered together:
  • The urgency of the medical condition,
  • The life expectancy of the patient,
  • The expected outcome of the treatment,
  • The cost of the procedure,
  • The duration of care,
  • The quality of life of the patient after treatment, and
  • The wishes of the patient and family.


The League believes that in order to accomplish appropriate reform and implement a comprehensive health care system, the process must assure opportunities for citizen participation, and be open, accountable, representative and responsive at every level.

Think Before You Ink!

Carefully consider initiative petitions before you sign.

The League of Women Voters of Oregon is encouraging its members and the public to be alert during the circulation of initiative petitions. Your signature is valuable, more valuable than your vote, considering that far fewer signatures are required to qualify a petition for the ballot than votes to pass it on the ballot. Only sign an initiative petition that you believe belongs on the ballot.

Here are the things to consider before deciding to sign any initiative petitions:

Is it complex? Some issues can be decided by a simple yes or no vote. Complex issues may need to be thoroughly examined in a legislative arena.

Is it confusing? Some initiatives are not well written or contain conflicts that may require court resolution or interpretation.

Does it belong in the Constitution? If an initiative amends the Constitution, consider whether it really belongs there. Is it a fundamental law that should be protected from change? Correcting a constitutional amendment later would also require amending the Constitution, is cumbersome and costly, and requires another vote of the people.

How will it be funded? Is it an “unfunded mandate” that would require the Legislature to take funds from other essential programs? Consider the effect on the overall flexibility of a government budget with already limited revenue. An initiative should generally create its own revenue source, and not earmark, restrict, or obligate a specific percentage of the General Fund revenues.

Who is behind it? You can find out who are the real sponsors and opponents of a petition. Contribution and expenditure reports are available through the Election Division at 503-986-1518 and are also online in ORESTAR at

Before you sign, ask to see identification of a signature gatherer. Paid signature gathers are required to carry a picture ID issued by the Secretary of State. Although the law does not require a paid petitioner to wear or show the ID when a voter asks, if they do not, then a voter can reasonably refuse to sign a petition. Numerous instances of fraud have occurred that could have been avoided by insisting on seeing identification. And if a case of fraud is found, you will have information that could assist authorities.

The League of Women Voters urges you to consider all the facts and
“Think Before You Ink.”

For more information about taking action, please email