Oregon Passes Vote by Mail (news) (FWD)

DEMOREP1 at aol.com DEMOREP1 at aol.com
Thu Nov 5 17:04:07 PST 1998

Date:  Thu, Nov 5, 1998 3:51 PM EDT
From:  SErtelt
Subj:  CAMPEL-L:  Oregon Passes Vote by Mail (news)

Oregon Passes Vote-by-Mail Measure

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon has become the first state to retire the
traditional polling place, passing a measure to conduct all elections
exclusively by mail.

Voters also passed measures that legalize marijuana for medical uses and allow
adoptees to see their original birth certificates.

The vote-by-mail proposal was approved by voters 57 percent to 43 percent,
according to results tallied through Wednesday.

It will not represent a major change in the way Oregonians have voted in
recent years. The state already leads the nation in the percentage of votes
cast by mail; nearly two-thirds of this week's votes were cast on absentee

Critics say the measure violates federal law requiring presidential and
congressional elections to take place on the same day, and could lead to
increased fraud and abuse.

Oregon still has the only congressional race in the country still up in the
air. The outcome of the contest between Democrat David Wu and Republican Molly
Bordonaro likely won't be known until all of the absentee ballots were counted

Returns from Tuesday's election showed Wu leading Bordonaro, 52 percent to 44

Oregon joined Washington state, Arizona, Nevada and Alaska in passing a
measure allowing the medical use of marijuana.

In Washington, Associate Attorney General Raymond C. Fisher said today the
Justice Department would review each of the initiatives individually and
discuss them with local law enforcement before making any response to them. In
California, the federal government has mounted civil court actions to close
clinics dispensing marijuana under a similar initiative.

``Under the federal law, the use of marijuana remains a crime,'' Fisher told
reporters. ``Obviously, there are people in a number of states who favor a
medical exemption for it. Our position is: Let's do research into it. Let's
validate whether or not there are legitimate uses of marijuana. But at the
present time, it's a federal crime and we intend to stand by it.''

Under Oregon's law, marijuana can only be prescribed by a doctor for a limited
number of illnesses, such as AIDS, multiple sclerosis, cancer and glaucoma.
The measure was approved 55 percent to 45 percent.

Voters overwhelmingly rejected another marijuana-related measure that would
have increased penalties, with possible jail time, for possessing less than an
ounce of pot.

Also, Oregon became the first state to see a public vote force open its
adoption records. Approved 55 percent to 45 percent, the measure gives a copy
of original birth certificates to an adult adoptee upon request. Only Alaska
and Kansas have similar laws, but those were initiated in state legislatures.

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