Oregon Election Results
Nov. 3 was a nail-biting evening, with almost every American filled with angst as we watched the presidential election flip and flop between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump.
After Arizona tentatively flipped from a “red state” to a “blue state” — after 20 years of being red — whispers of Biden winning filled the static air. However, it is 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 5 as I am finishing this, and the race is still on, keeping us watchers on the edge of our seats. At this time, Trump has an estimated 214 electoral college votes, and Biden has 253.
While this may seem like a shoe-in for Biden based on the numbers, there is still a clear path for either candidate to win. Currently, the only states left are Arizona (11 electoral votes), Nevada (6), Pennsylvania (20), North Carolina (15), Georgia (16), and Alaska (3). To win, Trump needs 56 more electoral college votes — there are only a few ways left for him to win, needing all of Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, and Nevada’s votes.
Biden, however, only needs 17 more electoral college votes to win, and has a few more options in his path; including if he wins just Pennsylvania. While Trump may get a positive ruling to challenge the Pennsylvania vote-count process, even as Pennsylvania leads with red results thus far, it looks like this race isn’t quite as close to over as we may think.
While the country flew sparks of both blue and red, Oregon’s state and legislative seats stayed mostly Democratic, as expected, as well as passing four progressive measures. With 57.1% of Oregonians voting for Biden, and 39.9% voting for Trump, and 1.6% for Jorgensen, we continue to stay a blue state overall.
In the race for the U.S. Senate, Jeff Merkley (Democrat) won with 57.6%, while Jo Rae Perkins (Republican) fell behind with 38.8%.
Shemia Fagan (D, Working Families), a fierce fighter for Oregon families who faced struggles while growing up here in Oregon, won Secretary of State with 51.1% of the vote. Fagan spent seven years representing her House and Senate districts of Oregon. Her opponent, Kim Thatcher (R), didn’t fall too far behind, at 42.6%.
Tobias Read (D, Working Families) kept his seat since 2017 as Oregon’s Treasurer, winning at 52.5% vs. his opponent Jeff Gudman (R), who came in at 40.9%.
Oregon Attorney General since 2012 Ellen Rosenblum (D) kept her seat in the 2020 Oregon vote at 56.7%. Rosenblum is the first female attorney general in Oregon’s history. Her counterpart, Michael Cross (R), came in at 40.8%.
While it is clear that much of Oregon bleeds red, it wasn’t enough in comparison to the amount that bleeds blue.
In a landslide, Measure 107 won at 78.8%. This measure will amend the Oregon Constitution, allowing laws that limit political campaign contributions and expenditures, requiring disclosure of such, and requiring political campaign advertisements to identify who paid for them. This will limit contributions made to influence an election, and there likely will be finance limits on campaigns, and disclosures of where any money comes from.
Measure 108 passed with an over 50% difference in “yes” vs. “no” votes; 66.8% vs. 33.2%. This measure will increase cigarette taxes by $2/pack, and $1/cigar, and establish taxes on e-cigarettes and nicotine vaping devices. This new tax revenue in turn will be used to fund health care coverage for low-income families, including mental health services. In addition, this will fund public health programs, such as prevention and cessation programs for nicotine addicts, which address tobacco- and nicotine-related diseases.
Under current law, a tax of $1.33 was imposed on each pack of 20 cigarettes, and cigars were taxed at 65 percent of the wholesale price (up to 50 cents per cigar). E-cigarettes, vaping products, and nicotine inhalant delivery systems alike, do not have any tax. This new measure does not apply to approved nicotine cessation products, or to marijuana inhalant delivery systems.
Measure 109 was a close call, but winning overall with 55.8%. This is a fascinating and progressive measure, and the first one of its kind in the United States; Oregon has become the first state to legalize psilocybin therapy. This will allow the manufacture, delivery and administration of psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”) at supervised and licensed facilities in accordance with mental health treatment. However, before the Oregon Health Authority takes control and implements the Oregon Psilocybin Services Program there will be a forced two-year development.
Measure 110 also is interesting, with several things included for it all to work cohesively. Essentially, Measure 110 is a decriminalization of some drugs (e.g. marijuana and cocaine in small amounts) that mandates establishing and funding addiction recovery centers, providing drug users with triage, health assessments, treatment, and recovery services. These centers and treatments will be funded by all marijuana tax revenue above $11,250,000 quarterly, legislative appropriations, and any savings from reductions in arrests and incarceration with supervision resulting from this measure. This will reclassify personal (non-commercial possession) of certain drugs under specified amounts, from a misdemeanor or felony, to a Class E violation, subject to a $100 fine or a completed health assessment by these recovery centers.
Don’t worry, those caught with large quantities of certain drugs, suspected to distribute, do not fall under this measure, and will be prosecuted as such. Measure 110 is made to get the individual drug user the treatment they need, to a healthy road of addiction recovery, without ruining their record, making the road to recovery a smoother one. Note: many drug users who become clean have a permanent record of such, which in turn makes it that much more difficult for them to reintegrate themselves into a healthy society. For example, a criminal or felony record often prevents them from getting suitable jobs, or any jobs at all.
Wow! Was this a hot ballot or what, thrusting Oregon into the future of uncharted territory among the United States of America. I’m sure you all out there are as anxious as I am to see how all these measures play out.