Are voters too well-informed?

Written by Baker City Herald Editorial Board March 15, 2013 08:43 am

Do you have the impression that one of the major problems plaguing Oregon elections is that voters are too well-informed about issues on their ballots?

No?

We don’t either.

In fact we feel confident in stating that by far the more common complaint among the electorate is that voters suffer from a shortage of data rather than a surplus.

We’re perplexed, then, by a bill that lawmakers are mulling in Salem.

House Bill 3113 would delete from a current state law the requirement that in elections which include a proposed property tax increase, the envelope that comes with the mail-in ballot must contain this phrase, printed clearly and boldly in red: “Contains vote on proposed tax increase.”

The Oregon Education Association, the state’s teachers union, instigated HB 3113 because the tax notice unfairly singles out proposed property tax hikes.

The solution to this minor problem, though, is not to get rid of the one notice that’s required now, and thus give voters less information.

Instead, the Legislature should give them more information by revising the current law to mandate a notice when any type of tax increase is on the ballot.