In the March 6, 2018, issue of the Register-Guard, Eugene resident and League of Women Voters of Lane County president Linda Lynch writes in a letter:
Since 1902, Oregon voters have been able to directly influence laws and government actions by petitioning to put measures on the ballot. As deadlines loom for the 2018 elections, signature gatherers are everywhere there is a crowd, clipboard in hand, asking, “Are you registered to vote?”
Before you sign, ask yourself: “What do I really know about the measure I am being asked to endorse?”
It’s easy to sign, thinking there’s no harm in letting voters decide the merits of a measure. But wait — have you looked below the ballot title to know what it will do? Is its purpose clear? Do you know who’s behind the measure or where its support money is rooted?
By signing a petition, you are endorsing the value, rationale and necessity of the issue. Upon closer inspection, however, you may learn the measure advocates changes that would be detrimental to you or your community, is anathema to your beliefs or is just a plain bad idea.
The League of Women Voters has long urged citizens to be savvy voters. Be savvy when it comes to signing petitions, too.
In short: Think before you ink.