One of the essential functions of our government is the safeguarding of our democratic systems, especially the process of free and fair elections. In these challenging times, voting needs to be easier and more accessible. With six weeks until the election, Portland’s mayor, City Council and city clerk must partner in delivering:

• Establishment of one or more secure drop boxes for absentee ballots.

• Weekend and evening absentee voting.

• Pre-paid postage for absentee ballot return.

• Enhanced voter registration, with acceptance of materials submitted digitally.

Naturally, such measures come with a price. City staff may need additional personal protective equipment, and additional security might be required to safeguard the ballots; but ultimately, the price tag is negligible when it is our democracy that we are paying to protect.

Zack Barowitz

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