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Remember to vote on the whole ballot

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This has been the most exciting presidential election in my memory. Right now, it looks like the nation will make history one way or another with the first African-American president or the first woman vice president.

The Sen. Obama campaign has energized the left and voter registration is setting all sorts of records. Now comes word that the nomination of Gov. Palin as VP could do the same.

My degree is in political science. This is all good.

But it also has me concerned.

How many of these so-called “unlikely voters” will get their ballots, pick the Obama-Biden ticket or the McCain-Palin ticket, then seal the envelop, sign it, stick a stamp on it and shove it in the mailbox?

Maybe a lot of them.

It’s called the undervote. And it has me frightened.

Our surveys show that a very large majority of people in our district think PCC does a great job, is a good steward of tax dollars, is underfunded, and serves students well with high-quality education. They also want workers better trained, in order to address workforce shortages. If they’re likely voters – like me, who never misses an election – they’ll know to cast a vote in the president race, two congressional races, statewide races, then scroll on down to the local issues, such as the PCC bond. But if they’re new, inexperienced voters, our fear is that they’ll vote the top of the ticket and call it good.

Which would be bad.

It’s not my job to tell anyone how to vote. Only to remind them to vote the whole ballot, from president to soil conservation districts. They all matter.

Send your feedback to And thanks in advance.

About Dana Haynes

Dana Haynes, joined PCC in 2007 as the manager of the Office of Public Affairs, directing the college's media and government relations. Haynes spent the previous 20 years as a reporter, columnist and editor for Oregon newspapers, including ... more »


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