The deadline to register to vote in the presidential election is October 14 for Oregon residents. Not sure if you’re registered yet? Visit the Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division site and use the handy search tool to find out if you’re registered. If you aren’t registered, you can print a voter registration form and return it by mail or in person to the county elections office.
Once you’re registered to vote, you have to make the decision of whom to vote for.
You can visit the official websites of the candidates who will appear on the Oregon ballot:
Democratic candidate – Barack Obama
Republican candidate – John McCain
Green Party candidate – Cynthia McKinney
Peace Party candidate – Ralph Nader
Some news organizations have put together websites that gather their coverage of the campaigns in one place and will help you figure out which presidential candidate is best for you. Both CNN and MSN have excellent websites that are full of information about the candidates, the debates, and the election process. Each site also has convenient, issue-specific election guides that let you compare the candidates. MSN’s is called “Where They Stand” and CNN’s is simply called “Issues.”
Selectsmart.com and votehelp.org are sites that will ask you a series of questions about your stance on issues and how important each issue is to you. They then use your answers and priorities to match you with the best candidate. While both sites are non-partisan (meaning the site itself doesn’t endorse a particular party or candidate), selectsmart.com is a commercial site, which means the results of your questionnaire will be accompanied by ads (just click “skip” to get through them).
If you want the facts on the statements that candidates make in their speeches, debates, or commercials, check out FactCheck.org or PolitiFact.com’s Truth-o-Meter. FactCheck.org is especially helpful because it checks the facts on commercials put out by non-campaign affiliated groups (like MoveOn.org) as well. You can even sign up for emails or a RSS feed to get the latest in presidential campaign fact checking.
Oregon ballots are mailed out 14-18 days prior to the election and have to be returned by 8 PM on November 4. Whomever you vote for, make sure your ballot is in by the deadline!