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About Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 23, 2022)
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2022
How to get kids excited
about the election process
Address: P.O. Box 13009, Salem, OR 97309
It’s another exciting campaign sea-
son here in Oregon.
This year, we have nearly forty can-
didates running for governor, and a
new congressional seat needs ﬁlling.
These are only two examples of the de-
cisions Oregonians will make.
A couple of years ago, I ran for my
local school board because I care deep-
ly about education and wanted to con-
tinue being a community service role
model for my three children. The entire
family had many ﬁrst-hand experienc-
es with elections and all my kids got a
front-row seat to democracy in action.
It was incredible!
My high school son made sure his
friends registered to vote, while my
middle school daughter talked to
teachers and parents about my cam-
paign. My second grader stood in the
front yard pointing to a sign, telling ev-
eryone who passed by to vote for me.
You don’t have to run for oﬃce to
show the students in your house how
democracy works. There are other
ways to assist your kids in under-
standing the election process.
Back to basics
Electoral politics get complicated,
so parents should start with the basics
of our democratic system.
Try explaining the duties of the var-
ious elected oﬃcials. Clarifying the
diﬀerence between school board
members and state legislators will
help your little one understand how
various departments work.
Younger children can relate better if
parents personalize topics. A tax levy
to fund more playground equipment at
the city park might be one example.
Show and tell
“During my school board
race, our family had great
dinner table conversations.
Rather than lecture about
public policy, children
appreciate when you listen
to their opinions. Parents
may want to ask their kids
questions like, “What did
you think about the mayor’s
them punch their ballots, thinking
that was so cool! They always made it
clear that voting shouldn't be taken for
granted. Now with my three children, I
remind them that every vote matters.
Have your kids watch you ﬁll out
your mail-in ballot. I keep the voters’
pamphlet handy. Once the ballot is
signed and sealed, ask your children to
help deliver it to the post oﬃce or near-
est election dropbox.
You can also give your kiddos in-
stant voting privileges with a DIY elec-
tion at home. Maybe your children
want to vote on where the family’s go-
ing for spring break, what to name the
new puppy, or even what’s for dinner.
Everyone in the family casts anony-
mous paper votes into a makeshift bal-
lot box. The kids will love counting the
ballots and announcing the results.
There are plenty of election mes-
sage points to talk about with your stu-
dents; they appear in yards, mail-
boxes, TV screens and phone calls in
Make it a family event to attend a lo-
cal candidate or ballot measure de-
bate, in person or virtually. Ask your
children about the issues and see if
your students have a favorite candi-
date. Watching election night results
on TV is an exciting event for kids,
young and old.
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ried that tradition forward with my
kids so we can compare candidates
During my school board race, our
family had great dinner table conver-
sations. Rather than lecture about
public policy, children appreciate
when you listen to their opinions. Par-
ents may want to ask their kids ques-
tions like, “What did you think about
the mayor’s debate?”
Parents should share what’s impor-
tant to them this election year, but also
tell your children it’s okay to have dif-
If we help our kids become critical
thinkers who ask questions to better
understand others, we’ll have future
voters that will protect and improve
our democratic system. We can also
stress the importance of the right to
vote and ensuring everyone has access
to the process.
My parents always discussed the
upcoming election and which candi-
dates they were supporting. I have car-
To Place an Ad
Rite of passage
Parents can do several things to
show children how the elections sys-
As a child, I remember going to the
voting booth with my parents to watch
Classifieds: call 503-399-6789
Retail: call 503-399-6602
Legal: call 503-399-6789
For students celebrating their 18th
birthday soon, I hope they learn how to
register to vote before April 26, which
is the voter registration deadline for
the May primary.
Parents can also share memories
with their kids about that civic rite of
passage into adulthood as a good way
to talk about voting.
Think back to when you became 18
and cast your ﬁrst ballot. I was at col-
lege in New York, but Oregon was my
home, so I returned a mail-in ballot
and remember feeling profoundly
grateful for the opportunity to vote.
Fast-forward many decades to the
school board election. My son turned
18 and the ﬁrst ballot he ever cast had
his mom’s name on it – that’s some-
thing neither of us will ever forget.
Resources for families
Tristan Irvin is an elementary
school teacher at Willamette Connec-
tions Academy. To learn more about
Willamette Connections Academy,
or call 888-478-9474.
Hundreds of inmates could be retried under proposed bill
Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
A bill that would allow individuals
convicted by nonunanimous juries to
appeal for post-conviction relief was
limited by amendments in committee
Monday in a rare display of bipartisan
support around this contentious issue.
Three amendments added to Senate
Bill 1511 limited the pool of who could ap-
ply for post-conviction relief within one
year of the bill going into eﬀect to those
who are still in custody and excluded
those who were convicted of a crime
against a person under 18 years of age.
The latter of the amendments was
proposed by Senate Republican Leader
Tim Knopp, R-Bend, and praised by
Democrats on the committee.
“This amendment helps me be more
comfortable” supporting the bill, Sen.
Sara Gelser Blouin, D-Corvallis, said.
“I think (this amendment) is really
important,” Sen. James Manning Jr., D-
The amendment came out of concern
from lawmakers and members of the
public that children would be forced to
re-testify about painful experiences.
The other amendment came from the
committee itself. It proposes to:
h Limit who could apply for post-
conviction relief to those still in custody
and serving a sentence for conviction by
a nonunanimous jury.
h Outlined the process for applying
h Directed $6 million to the Depart-
ment of Justice, district attorney oﬃces
and community-based organizations
for providing support to crime victims.
h Increased the burden proof for es-
tablishing a verdict was nonunanimous
from a “preponderance of evidence” to
“clear and convincing” evidence.
The third amendment added to the
bill was described as a technical ﬁx.
Concern about convictions
In 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court
ruled that guilty verdicts by nonunani-
mous juries violate the U.S. Constitu-
At the time, Oregon was the only
state to allow such verdicts. Jury deci-
sions of 10-2 and 11-1 could result in con-
viction on all felony cases except for
murder and aggravated murder.
When the decision came down, the
verdicts of at least 370 Oregonians were
put into various stages of review. That
doesn’t include any that could be im-
pacted by SB 1511; the Supreme Court de-
Miniature State of Oregon flags are displayed in the Senate floor in the Capitol. BRIAN HAYES / STATESMAN JOURNAL
cision only applied to cases still on ap-
peal. SB 1511 would apply retroactively.
Potentially hundreds of cases could be
For that reason, the bill is still consid-
ered “terrible” by the Senate Republican
oﬃce. It believes it creates an “unneces-
sary opportunity” for criminals to be re-
leased from prison.
Republican leadership has said the
bill is part of a Democratic “pro-crimi-
nal” agenda this session. Those in sup-
port of the bill contend it is a matter of
equity — not acting would leave convic-
tions in place that are now considered
But at least in committee, Republican
senators thanked their Democratic col-
leagues for the changes to SB 1511, al-
though they all voted “no” on moving
the bill forward to the budget-writing
Joint Ways and Means Committee.
“This bill is much improved by the
amendments,” Sen. Kim Thatcher, R-
Sen. Dennis Linthicum, R-Klamath
Falls, voiced concern about the speed at
which the bill was amended, and with
relatively limited public input, but said
he “very well may” support the bill on
“I love the fact that we moved from
preponderance of evidence to clear and
convincing. I think that is one of the
best parts of it,” he said.
Compromise doesn’t satisfy all
The amendments did cause some
consternation among supporters of the
Aliza Kaplan, director of the Criminal
Justice Reform Clinic at Lewis & Clark
Law School, testiﬁed in support of SB
1511 during public hearings earlier this
month. In an interview Monday, Kaplan
said she is now concerned about the bill
excluding those convicted of a crime in-
volving a person under the age of 18.
Kaplan said she understands how
diﬃcult it is to go back to old cases, for
victims, attorneys and those convicted
of the crime. But, she said, it feels like
the Legislature is now cherry-picking
who gets to have their constitutional
“Everyone deserves some kind of re-
lief, and that is not what this bill is,”
Kaplan said. “Will it help a lot of people?
I sure hope so.”
Reporter Connor Radnovich covers
the Oregon Legislature and state gov-
503-399-6864, or follow him on Twitter