PENDLETON, Oregon – Four Democrats are on the ballot for the May 2020 primary, and one of them swung through Pendleton for a visit. Cameron Smith is the former director of the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs and a retired Marine captain.
His visits to rural communities while at ODVA have keyed him to many issues unique to rural Oregon. He said while the urban-rural divide is real, it doesn’t mean there can’t be understanding.
“While we have partisan primaries for the secretary of state race, much of what Oregonians want out of their next Secretary of State is to lead and govern as an Oregonian, and not necessarily on a partisan basis,” he said.
Smith says Oregon’s vote-by-mail system and the new motor-voter registration make the state the leader in election innovation. However, he doesn’t want Oregon to rest on its laurels. He says if elected he will travel throughout the state to ask county election officials what would make elections more meaningful.
“Is that registration on the same day as the election,” he wondered. “Given technology changes, can we get that level of engagement? We can look at the postmark for the more rural communities – postmark on the day of the election.”
Smith is opposed by Jamie McLeod-Skinner, Mark Hass, and Jennifer Williamson. No Republicans have filed for the post.