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LWVOR Position Index

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LWVOR Policy and Position Statements

Updated January 2023


Campaign Finance Reform

LWVOR uses the LWVUS position on campaign finance reform as the basis for legislative and statewide action. Members adopted the position in 1973 following a study initiated by the 1972 Convention. The League supports measures to “improve methods of financing political campaigns in order to ensure the public’s right to know, combat corruption and undue influence, enable candidates to compete more equitably for public office and promote citizen participation in the political process.”


Citizen Participation and Access

“The League of Women Voters believes democratic government depends upon the informed and active participation of its citizens and requires that governmental bodies protect the citizen’s right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed actions, holding open meetings, and making public records accessible.” LWVUS Principles “We must promote an open governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive.” LWVUS Representative Government position Citizen participation and access are also important parts of LWVOR positions on Land Use and the Judicial System, and LWVUS positions on Campaign Finance, Citizens Right to Know/ Citizen Participation, Environmental Protection and Pollution Control, Natural Resources Public Participation, United Nations, and International Relations Trade Policy. Because of these scattered positions, we collect here our combined history of advocacy for Citizen Participation and Access.

Civil Discourse

“Promote civil discourse through action and education for all government bodies, staff, and citizens for the purpose of improved public policy decisions and processes. Civil discourse means, at a minimum, mutually respectful, courteous, constructive, and orderly communication.”


Constitutional Provisions -  Adopted 1963; Revised 1980

  1. The League of Women Voters of Oregon believes that the Oregon Constitution should be a basic framework of state government, free of obsolete material and statutory detail. It should guarantee basic democratic rights to the people of the state by:

    • Providing a bill of rights;

    • Reserving initiative and referendum powers to the people.

  2. The Oregon Constitution should provide for a legislative assembly that is:

    • Apportioned on a population basis, under a system that provides flexibility, adequate safeguards and enforcement procedures ensuring reapportionment after every federal census;

    • Adequately salaried with the amount of salary specified by statute;

    • Permitted to meet in annual sessions.

  3. The executive branch should be strengthened by provisions:

    • Fixing authority and responsibility in the office of governor. The governor should be given the power to reorganize the administrative functions of the state government subject to legislative review and possible veto;

    • Limiting the number of departments;

    • Granting the power to appoint department heads to the governor with the consent of the Senate;

    • For an item veto and an executive budget;

    • Setting salaries by statute;

    • Allowing no constitutional impairment of the state civil service system.

  4. Administrative – Post Audits (concurrence, 1980)

    • Post audits of state and local governments should be conducted in an apolitical manner.

    • The office performing post audit should function independently of the Legislature and the executive department.

    • The office should be given appropriate enforcement tools.

  5. The Oregon Constitution should provide for a judicial system uniform in organization and administration with:

    • Full time, legally trained judges paid by the state;

    • Rule-making power vested in the Supreme Court;

    • Mandatory retirement of judges;

    • Judicial appointments that are made by the governor from a slate presented by a judicial nominating committee.

  6. The Oregon Constitution should provide for effective local government (1943, 1963) by:

    • Allowing city and county home rule;

    • Reserving to the Legislature authority to provide for local government flexibility to meet future needs.

  7. Revision of the constitution in the future should be permitted by use of the constitutional convention, initiative amendment, or legislative amendment.

Statutes, constitutional amendments, and administrative decisions that implement these positions may be supported by the League.

Individual Liberties

The League’s Position: Statement of Position on Individual Liberties, as Announced by National Board, March 1982: The League of Women Voters of the United States believes in the individual liberties guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. The League is convinced that individual rights now protected by the Constitution should not be weakened or abridged.


 Privacy and Cybersecurity - Adopted: January 2021; Amended January 2021

Cybersecurity is the prevention of damage to, protection of, and restoration of computers, electronic communications systems, electronic communications services, wire communication, and electronic communication, including information contained therein, to ensure its availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality, and nonrepudiation. This position statement addresses Elections, Information Security, Personal Information Protection, and Electronic Business and Social Media.


Elections Security

The election process is the foundation of our representative form of government. Election integrity, accuracy, transparency, and trustworthiness require vigilance to ensure security protections. Security requirements include and are not limited to: 

  • verifiable ballots;

  • ballots that can be recounted and audited;

  • up-to-date hardware and software, supported by vendors, tested, and secure;

  • protected voter registration databases;

  • election staff/volunteers with cybersecurity expertise;

  • cyber-damage contingency plans;

  • risk-limiting audits;

  • attention to disinformation and misleading ads.

Protect voters’ ability to exercise an informed opinion on electoral matters.  Explore limiting the unfettered electronic circulation and amplification of election misinformation (e.g., targeted disinformation campaigns, manipulated media, anonymous disinformation, and algorithmic and robotic disinformation campaigns).

Information Security

Government, individuals, and organizations (including the private sector and critical infrastructure), all require strong cybersecurity protections and effective deterrents to assure national security, economic and social stability, and personal information integrity.

  • Create consistent information privacy laws and regulations across all organizations (government, private, for-profit, and non-profit) that eliminate gaps, inconsistencies, and overlaps.

  • Regulate all technology-enabled organizations (e.g., internet platforms, online intermediaries, business-to-consumer platforms), not shifting sectors, so that organizations are subject to a uniform set of laws and regulations.

  • Regulate all categories of information in the same way, regardless of the type of organization or sector that collects that information.

  • Apply a baseline set of regulations to all types of information, regardless of the type of organization or sector collecting that information.

  • Apply regulatory requirements to organizations according to their size and complexity, the nature of data covered, and the risk posed by exposing private information.

  • All information (including third-party data transfers) needs sufficiently flexible protections to address emerging technologies and scientific evidence while serving the common good by balancing the demands of stakeholders and vested interests.


The ubiquitous information and communication technologies (ICT) of today’s pervasive digital services, platforms, and marketplaces require a global governance perspective to address their societal and economic impacts:


  • Harmonize laws and regulations across jurisdictions to protect individuals and assure the trustworthy flow of information across all boundaries—government, organizations, industry sectors, states, and countries.

  • Aim to develop flexible regulatory structures that can quickly adapt to social and scientific realities and technical and economic policy challenges.

  • Use forward-looking, collaborative mechanisms such as experimentation and learning, test-and-evolve, and post-doc effectiveness reviews. Incentivize specific outcomes that facilitate anticipating and adapting to rapid changes.


State laws that become inconsistent with future comprehensive federal privacy standards may be preempted, while more stringent laws may remain. At a minimum, citizens' information protection rights should be comparable to those of citizens around the world—both current and future protections that may be established. Current European Council personal information protections include the ability to:

  • be informed of what personal information is held and why

  • access information held by an entity

  • request updating or correcting of information

  • request manual processing in lieu of automated or algorithmic processing

  • request transfer of information to another entity

  • withdraw prior consent to process data or object to specific situation consent

  • request deleting personal information.


Personal Information Protection

Uniform privacy rights need to protect personal privacy and prevent known harm.

  • Establish uniform information protections for personal and behavioral data that can be linked to an individual or devices.

  • Prevent harmful uses of personal information by all information processors who collect, store, analyze, transfer, sell, etc.

  • Expand the legal definition of “harm” to include physical, monetary, reputational, intangible, future, or other substantial injuries and to provide individuals the right to legal remedy.

  • Assure that personal information collection, use, transfer, and disclosure for economic or societal purposes is consistent with the purpose for which individuals provide their data, and does not cause them harm.

  • Shift the focus of information protection from individual self-management when submitting data (e.g., opt-in, obscure notice, and choice disclosures) to organizational stewardship in protecting individuals’ personal privacy.

  • Expand personal information privacy definition to address rapidly changing information and communication technologies, accelerated networking between businesses, and automated collection and dissemination of data, which together subvert personally identifiable information, de-identification, re-identification, and data anonymization.



Electronic Business and Social Media: Cybersecurity Responsibilities

Organizations conducting electronic business and social media commercializing personal information both bear the responsibility for protecting information and must be liable for failure to protect individuals from harm.

All organizations--including third-party receivers:

  • Must protect individuals’ transferred information across multiple organizations to ensure end-use accountability.

  • Have a duty to safely collect, use, and share personal, sensitive information.

  • Should use comprehensive information risk assessments, take proactive measures to implement information security measures, and be held accountable for fulfilling these risk management obligations.

  • Are held accountable for misuse of personal information by strengthening both state and federal laws, rule-making, and enforcement powers.


We support the right of free speech for all. The digital tools of information and communication technology (such as algorithms and artificial intelligence) can selectively distort or amplify user-generated content. The resulting disinformation, digital manipulation, false claims, and/or privacy violations may endanger society or harm others.

  • Compel private internet communication platforms (applications, social media, websites, etc.) to be responsible for moderating content.

  • Define liability for damages and provide for enforcement for failure to moderate content.

Economic Development Revenue Bonds Adopted April 1983

  1. The League of Women Voters of Oregon supports the authority to issue Economic Development Revenue Bonds by the state, ports, and cities with more than 300,000 population.

    • In issuing Economic Development Revenue Bonds, top priority should be given to those projects which diversify the economy and/or create jobs. However, consideration should also be given to assisting economically depressed areas and attracting industries to locate in Oregon.

    • A possible unfair competition that might result from bond issuance should be examined at the local level.

  2. In addition to the Economic Development Revenue Bond program, the League of Women Voters of Oregon supports other state and local economic stimulants such as upgrading education at all levels and exploring various types of financing methods.


Election Laws - Adopted 1987; Revised 1997

The League of Women Voters of Oregon recognizes that election procedures and voter information are critical elements to an informed and participating electorate.

  1. Registration Process. The League of Women Voters of Oregon believes a variety of practices is necessary to provide the public with adequate information regarding where and how to register, under what circumstances and how to re-register, a notice of election dates, and the content of the ballot. The League supports:

    • A registration process that is accessible, well-publicized and easily understood, as well as easy to implement and administer;

    • Mail-in registration forms which are widely available;

    • Oregon implementation of the National Voter Registration Act which includes registration process training for agency personnel and the designation of additional registration sites;

    • Implementing a statewide centralized registration list;

    • A registration cut-off requirement that does not disenfranchise otherwise qualified voters.

  2. Elections Process. The League of Women Voters of Oregon believes elections should be conducted in a manner that encourages voter participation and supports:

    • No more than four annual, regularly scheduled, election dates;

    • A formula for cost-sharing between the state and the counties for the state portion of the primary and general elections;

    • Evaluating the timing of the Oregon Primary; and

    • Expediting the process for filling vacancies in federal offices.

  3. Voting Process. The League of Women Voters of Oregon believes citizens are entitled to voting procedures that provide ease of ballot access and use and support:

    • Use of vote-by-mail in all elections. Every effort should be made to preserve ballot secrecy to prevent fraud.

    • Use of the permanent absentee ballot, provided methods and timelines for counting such ballots are improved, unless and until vote-by-mail in all elections is implemented; and

    • Shortening the time between sending out mail ballots and their required return date.

  4. Voter Education Process. The League of Women Voters of Oregon supports the publication and distribution of a state Voters’ Pamphlet prior to statewide elections and believes that:

    • The state has an obligation to provide voters with accurate information so that voters can make reasoned choices;

    • All ballot measures must be included with official explanatory statements, an official advisory opinion on constitutionality, effects of a “yes” and “no ” vote, a fiscal impact statement, and summaries of the main arguments for and against the measures;

    • The number of arguments for and against the measures to be included should be limited;

    • The fees charged per page should more clearly reflect the actual costs; and

    • Ballot titles and measures need to be stated in clear, concise language and should avoid confusing negatives.

  5. The League of Women Voters of Oregon supports a mandatory certification procedure for all county chief elections officials

Election Methods Adopted 2017

The League of Women Voters of Oregon recognizes that election methods affect how voters participate in our democracy, who can run for office, and who can get elected. Therefore, the League supports election methods that:

  • Encourage voter participation and voter engagement.

  • Encourage those with minority opinions to participate.

  • Are easy to use.

  • Are verifiable and auditable.

  • Promote access to voting.

  • Promote competitive elections.

  • Promote sincere voting over strategic voting.

  • Discourage negative campaigning.

  • Prevent political manipulation (e.g. Gerrymandering).

  • Are compatible with vote-by-mail elections.

The League of Women Voters of Oregon does not believe that plurality voting is the best method for promoting democratic choice in all circumstances.  For single-winner systems, the League supports ranked-choice voting; we do not support range or approval voting. The League of Women Voters of Oregon supports election systems that elect policy-making bodies–legislatures, councils, commissions, and boards–that proportionally reflect the people they represent. We support systems that promote stable government, but we do not support systems that protect the two-party system. The League of Women Voters of Oregon supports enabling legislation to allow local jurisdictions to explore alternative election methods. If an alternative election method is adopted, then funding for startup and voter education should be available. The League of Women Voters of Oregon does not support nonpartisan elections for state legislators. (Previous position) Adopted 2009 The League of Women Voters of Oregon believes that any election method should be evaluated on its ability to:

  • Promote voter participation.

  • Be simple and easy for voters to understand.