Midterm elections last month broke records across the country, including in Oregon, where final ballot returns are hovering around 70% voter turnout. At first glance that sounds a tad lower than turnouts in other local midterm elections, but it only appears that way because it is the first midterm election since passage of the “motor voter” law. Since that law went into effect in 2016, voter registration has been an automatic process for anyone getting a drivers’ license, meaning that the state has many more registered voters than in past midterm elections. We saw an additional 300,000+ more votes cast in these midterms, for a total of 1.87M+ ballots submitted.
We proved yet again that the power of UFCW Local 555 is in the voices of our 25,000 workers, and that our power is formidable. We vote to support our Union brethren and we actively endorse candidates with a proven track record of standing with working people and with the labor movement. Similarly to the Oregon primaries in May, we saw an astounding 75% of our endorsed candidates win their races.
Possibly the single most important win for the labor movement in Oregon was Kate Brown’s successful bid for re-election as Governor. Her opponent had a record of voting down legislation supportive of working people, and had even spoken out against labor unions. Kate Brown consistently stepped up to support working families, and we are thrilled to watch what we expect will be a continuation of that trajectory in her next term. We also saw a super-majority voted in, in both the Oregon State and House. For more related thoughts on election news, turn to page 7A.
And if you voted in this election, whether with or against the endorsements of Local 555, thank you for your participation in a critical process. High voter turnout means voters’ voices were heard, and that’s critical for a healthy democracy.