Come volunteer for Ballotpedia

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Help us solve the ballot information problem—become a volunteer today!
  2. Election spotlight—Oregon’s gubernatorial Democratic primary 
  3. #MondayTrivia

Come volunteer for Ballotpedia

Our primary goal at Ballotpedia is to solve what we call the ballot information problem. People want to participate in the political process, but they often lack the time, tools, and confidence to make informed decisions. Finding Information about the candidates running—sometimes even as simple as the names of who is running—can be difficult. This is the ballot information problem.

We believe it is possible to fill the ballot information gap—and we’re thrilled to announce a new way for you to join us in making it happen through our Spring 2022 virtual volunteer program! 

What will you do? You’ll work beside us on one of the biggest parts of the ballot information gap—finding out who’s running for offices at all levels of government. It’s an enormous task, with more than 500,000 candidates seeking positions from governor to water and soil board commissioners.

The time you spend with us making information more accessible benefits all voters, and you can feel good knowing that the information voters find on Ballotpedia—the information you helped us provide—is factual and free of bias.  

Our vibrant community of volunteers spans the country, and all our volunteer projects are conducted in a virtual environment. You can volunteer from anywhere, as much or as little as you like.

Join us in helping to create an America where every citizen has equal access to accurate, unbiased information about politics, elections, and policy. Click the link below to sign up today.

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Election spotlight—Oregon’s gubernatorial Democratic primary 

In our last election spotlight, we looked at Ohio’s 9th Congressional District Republican primary. Today, let’s take a break from the Midwest and turn our attention to the Pacific Northwest—Oregon, to be specific.  

On May 17, Oregon will hold a Democratic primary for governor. Incumbent Kate Brown (D) is term-limited, and 15 candidates are seeking the party’s nomination.

Candidates Tina Kotek and Tobias Read have lead in fundraising, noteworthy endorsements, and media coverage. 

Read is the Oregon treasurer, a position to which he was first elected in 2016. Read has run on reducing gun violence, investing in K-12 schools, and lowering childcare costs. Read said, “We need to stop lurching from one crisis to the next and lay out a vision for where to take Oregon. Not just for next year, but for the next generation. My approach is simple: I’ll measure Oregon’s progress by how well our kids are doing.” Read has also focused on boosting Oregon’s COVID-19 vaccination numbers, saying “I think we need steady leadership in Oregon to get past this pandemic and get us on the trajectory that we want to be on. Of course, that requires getting as many people vaccinated as possible and removing that as a barrier.” AFT-Oregon, a state affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, and former Gov. Barbara Roberts, who served from 1991 to 1995, have endorsed Read.

Kotek served as a member of the Oregon House of Representatives from 2007 to 2022, when she resigned to run for governor. She was state house speaker from 2013 to 2022. Kotek has run on reforming zoning laws, increasing the minimum wage, and funding schools. Kotek said, “Oregonians are living through a devastating pandemic, the intensifying impacts of climate change, and the economic disruptions that leave too many behind. We must get past the politics of division and focus on making real, meaningful progress for families across our state.” Kotek has said her time in the Legislature shows that she knows how government works: “With new legislative leadership in 2023, it will be helpful to have a governor who has been in the Legislature and has been in their positions. There is going to be change, but I hope there is continuity provided by a governor who understands what it means to be a legislative leader.” The Oregon Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, and EMILY’s List have endorsed Kotek.

David Beem, Julian Bell, Wilson Bright, George Carrillo, Michael Cross, Ifeanyichukwu Diru, Peter Hall, Keisha Merchant, Patrick Starnes, Dave Stauffer, John Sweeney, Michael Trimble, Genevieve Wilson are also running in this election.

Including Brown, Oregon’s last five governors have been Democrats. The state’s last Republican governor, Victor G. Atiyeh, served from 1979 to 1987.

Oregon is one of three state executive Democratic battleground primaries we’ve identified in 2022. The other two are the Secretary of State Democratic primary in Illinois and the Attorney General Democratic primary in Texas.

There are 36 gubernatorial seats on the ballot in 2022. 

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#MondayTrivia: What’s the average length of a Supreme Court vacancy since 1962?

In Friday’s Brew, we previewed Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Senate confirmation hearings—which begin today—and looked at some statistics on Supreme Court vacancies. Nearly two months ago, on Jan. 27, Justice Stephen Breyer announced he planned to retire this summer, setting in motion the process to fill his upcoming vacancy.  

What’s the average length of a Supreme Court vacancy since 1962 when measured from the retirement announcement to confirmation of a successor? 

  1. 100 days
  2. 419 days 
  3. 132 days 
  4. 51 days

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