Candidates: Oregon Secretary of State

The term for Oregon Secretary of State is 4 years. The annual salary is $77,000.

We asked candidates for Oregon Secretary of State the same three questions:

  1. What criteria or factors would you use to make the right decisions for Oregon’s state forests?
  2. Do you support or oppose the creation of an independent redistricting commission? Why or why not?
  3. What, if any, steps, should the Secretary of State’s office take to improve election integrity and security?

Here are their replies, as received with no edits or corrections:

Nathalie Paravicini, Progressive and Pacific Green Party

paravicini4sos.org

  1. On decisions for Oregon’s state forests.

This year’s fires make it clear we need to prioritize sustainability when making decisions about our forests. Our state services are underfunded because the federal government spends more than 50% of the budget on the military. I will help organize a national coalition to redirect our economy, with a focus on modernizing infrastructure. That would fund local jobs relieving the pressure on natural resources. My 2nd priority is bridging the false concept that we need to pit jobs against nature.

  1. On the creation of an independent redistricting commission?

Absolutely. We need a fair non-partisan commission to oversee redistricting. The goal should be to facilitate true representation and participation in the electoral process, and NOT on keeping a “balance” of power for political machines. It is sad that Attorney General Rosenblum sabotaged efforts to place the initiative on the ballot, allowing We The People to make that decision. This clearly shows that the two-party system is corrupt. We need Ranked-Choice Voting more than ever:  fairvote.org.

  1. On steps to improve election integrity and security?

Fraud in elections are mostly campaign finance violations. OR already has good measures in place for voting per se. Mail ballots are secure with a paper trail. We could lead and move to open source election software and open security procedures. Other measures for integrity:  1) enforcing Measure 47 campaign finance limits for the 2022 elections, 2) pushing public funding of elections similar to Portland’s small donor match program that lead to increased diversity and quality of candidates

Kyle Markley, Libertarian

kylemarkley.org

  1. On decisions for Oregon’s state forests.

I have no background on forestry, so I would rely on the advice of experts in the field. I believe our forests are important resources, both ecologically and economically, and would seek to balance those uses. I do not believe government is necessarily the best steward of lands, and would be at least open to entertaining sales of land into private hands, whether for conservation or for productive purposes.

  1. On the creation of an independent redistricting commission?

If the legislature is unable to enact a redistricting plan, and therefore the matter transfers to the Secretary of State, I would certainly create an independent redistricting committee or commission to perform that work. The approach I favor to avoid partisan gerrymandering is to draw district boundaries using an algorithm that is purposefully ignorant of voters’ party affiliations, depending more heavily on factors like geographic compactness.

  1. On steps to improve election integrity and security?

I believe Oregon already does a great job with election security and I have confidence in our results, but I would always welcome advice from security experts about how to improve. Regarding election integrity, we can do better. Although the regulation of political activity in Oregon is less than in most other states, our regulations still stifle grassroots political activity and suppress minority political ideas. We need more freedom to engage in politics and should vote against Measure 107.

kim@kimthatcher.com

Candidate did not respond by deadline

Shemia Fagan, Working Families Party and Democrat

ShemiaForOregon.com

  1. On decisions for Oregon’s state forests.

We must serve as good stewards to current and future generations’ natural resources. As a member of the State Land Board and a fiduciary of the Common School Fund, it will be my duty to balance the needs of the CSF against any potential negative impact on our environment. I will prioritize actively assessing maintenance costs of state lands, the fund’s investment policy and performance, and ongoing fund distributions with the goal of ensuring lands are maintained and that the fund is stable.

  1. On the creation of an independent redistricting commission?

Every Oregonian’s voice should be heard and their vote should count equally, that’s why I support a fair and independent redistricting process and signed the National Democratic Redistricting Committee’s Fair Redistricting pledge. A fair map comes from an inclusive and transparent process. If I were in charge of redistricting as Secretary of State I would prioritize creating a system that is transparent, inclusive, representative, and responsive to the will of the people.

  1. On steps to improve election integrity and security?

Oregon’s vote by mail system has been working safely and effectively for decades. As a Mom, I love voting at the kitchen table with my kids. Our next Secretary of State needs to focus on protecting our elections from misinformation and partisan attacks and securing Oregon’s voter registration database from cyberattacks.