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Voters' Pamphlet organized for fairness

When I started looking at my Voters’ Pamphlet, I was stumped. All I could find were Republican candidates listed for the Second Congressional District. Finally, I found the Democrats in the back of the pamphlet. In the past, I don’t remember Republicans and Democrats being listed in different places. It’s really quite confusing. I’m sure a lot of Democratic candidates won’t get any votes because of this. Also I noticed that more candidates don’t seem to be filing a statement in the Voter’s Pamphlet. What gives?

— Maureen F., Jacksonville

We’ve received quite a few comments about this situation, Maureen, but we’ve found nothing nefarious about it.

We contacted the Oregon Secretary of State’s office, which deals with the Voters’ Pamphlet information and how it’s organized.

According to elections officials, the Voters’ Pamphlet has been organized in a similar fashion for quite some time.

“It was deemed to be a fairness issue, so at some point years ago, Elections decided that we would rotate the political parties in the Voters’ Pamphlet to ensure that each party is treated fairly as far as order in the pamphlet goes,” wrote Andrea Chiapella, legislative and communications director for the Oregon Secretary of State, in an email response.

We also reached out to Chris Walker, Jackson County clerk. She said the layout of the Voters’ Pamphlet is decided at the state level. She said county races are inserted into the middle of it.

We’ve also received other questions from our readers about why so many candidates don’t have any statements in the Voters’ Pamphlet.

Many candidates decide not to file a statement for various reasons, such as cost.

Walker said that when a candidate comes into her office, she advises them that the statements are used by many voters when they’re making their decision.

“To not participate in that, you do a disservice to yourself,” she said.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.