Democracy At Work: Counting Ballots

I woke up this morning to fresh snow sparkling in the sunshine, grateful that our country is carrying out a democratic election with no major reports of voter intimidation. While many races have yet to be declared, we can already celebrate two statewide ballot measures that advance democracy! Thousands of rural Oregonians have taken action to make their voices heard by voting and having conversations with neighbors, friends, and coworkers about the issues at stake in this election. What are you reflecting on this morning? Email us at

Many folks have been sharing this quote today: “I believe this is the genius of humankind, the thing that makes us half divine: the fact that some human beings can envision a world that has never existed.”~Anne Braden

Read on for updates on Oregon election results, information about how you can continue to stay up to date, and resources about countering misinformation! 

Thanks to all of your hard work, together we passed Measure 112, which will take slavery completely out of the Oregon Constitution. Alabama, Tennessee, and Vermont passed similar measures last night, joining a growing group of states that are paving the way for a national end to forced labor in prisons! We also passed Measure 113, which will hold politicians accountable, and not allow state legislators to run for re-election if they walk out from work for more than 10 floor sessions in a year. 

We’ve been on the edge of our seats, biting our nails, refreshing the election results pages watching for the initial numbers to roll in, and watching ballots diligently get counted by county election offices that are live streaming for increased transparency. Find the link to your county’s election website here (click your county’s name) to see if they are participating in this effort! 

Thanks to vote by mail, we are able to vote safely from the comfort of our homes or in the library, post office, or at a friend’s kitchen table surrounded by election information to help us make the best decisions for us and our communities. This year especially, the Secretary of State’s office shared: “Remember, there’s a new law in effect this year called the postmark rule, which says that ballots postmarked by Election Day will count even if they arrive at the election office up to 7 days after Election Day. This improvement ensures that every vote cast on time gets counted. It may also delay the results of close races because it will take a few days for all the votes to be counted.” While some people in our communities are calling out supposed shenanigans with election integrity and safety, the reality is that doing democracy right takes time, patience, and deliberate action.

This week, stay in conversation with neighbors and friends to appreciate each other for all of the hard work and to keep sharing messages that counter the election disinformation coming from the far Right. Here are some examples of resources we have found particularly helpful:

  1. This resource offers ways to avoid amplifying disinformation.
  2. This OPB article from yesterday explains why the new postmarking rule means results could take longer to count.
  3. This toolkit from the Oregon Secretary of State suggests how to share clear information about the new postmarking rule and how votes are counted, and includes multi-lingual content for easy sharing. 
  4. The Oregon Secretary of State’s website has a page about how voting in Oregon works that includes answers to common questions.

What conversations are happening in your community? Let us know at! As more results come in, now is a great time to start planning how you will gather your group or community together to debrief this election and set goals for the coming yearCheck out the November KTA for ideas on how to plan an effective election debrief

We are so grateful for the powerful way rural Oregon continues to show up for democracy time and time again.