This year, 2012, is a very important election year for our nation.
For the past year the media have been focused on the Republican candidates for president. It is also an important election year for our representation in Congress, in our state, as well as in our counties and cities. Following discussions at the January meeting of the Milton-Freewater Democrats I was asked to submit a letter to the editor to inform people about the deadlines of our election process and of the candidates filing for office.
One of the most important deadlines is just weeks away for the state of Oregon. March 6 is the deadline for a candidate to file for office. If you or someone one you know is interested in providing such public service, please consider filing. It is discouraging to open a voters' pamphlet or ballot and find a choice is not available because the candidate has no opponent, thus there is no choice.
For state and federal positions, candidates must file with the Secretary of State's Office. They can acquire the necessary information on the Secretary of State's website. For Umatilla County positions - county commissioner and county sheriff candidates - can file at the Umatilla County Courthouse. At the present time four candidates have filed for the county commissioner position being vacated by Dennis Doherty. They are Bill Elfering, Michael Cannon, Perry Hawkins and Glen Diehl.
The three candidates who have filed for county sheriff are Terry Rowan, Alan Humphrey Jr. and Robert Cannon. There is the possibility of a second county commissioner vacancy as Bill Hansell has announced he will file for the state Senate position.
Any one of the candidates for the county positions receiving 50 percent plus one vote in the May 15 primary will be elected to the office. If those results do not happen, the top two candidates will vie for a spot in the November election.
It is also important to note that to participate in the election process as a responsible citizen; you should check your registration status. If you have recently moved to the area, have had a change of address, or you are a new voter of 18 years of age (17 years of age with an 18th birthday prior to the elections), or you wish to change your party affiliation you need to register by April 24. You can register online or obtain registration forms at the DMV office or County Courthouse.
The Milton-Freewater Democrats extend an open invitation to all candidates for public office to attend their meetings. They may make arrangements by contacting Nora Connors or me.