It's time for this avid Measure 49 supporter to go out on a limb and make a prediction about how Oregonians will vote next Tuesday.
I say it'll be 63% "Yes." I picked that percentage partly because it is higher than the 61% that favored Measure 37 in 2004.
I believe that Oregon voters have had their eyes opened about what Measure 37 has brought the state: unfairness, divisiveness, asphalted-over farm and forestland.
This is going to produce an electoral turn-around. We're not going to see the same sort of urban-rural split as in 2004. I'm predicting that a majority of Oregon counties are going to say "Yes" to Measure 49.
Consider our Republican leaning rural Marion County neighborhood. A nearby Measure 37 subdivision on groundwater limited farmland that threatens area wells and springs has created an overwhelming swell of support for Measure 49.
My wife and I haven't heard of anybody who is opposed to Measure 49. That's amazing, really. Even die-hard conservatives recognize that one person's property rights end when they interfere with someone else's. Like, the right to not have your well go dry.
So the way I see it, each of the 7,500 Measure 37 claims around the state has generated a lot of "Yes" votes for Measure 49.
That's certainly true for our neighborhood, where hundreds of people are for this Measure 37 fix and just about the only people against it are the (absentee) owners of the subdivision property.
Here's some more evidence of non-metro support for Measure 49. The Roseburg News-Review, Baker City Herald, and Madras Pioneer newspapers all have endorsed a "Yes" vote. Other rural papers have also.
The News-Review had this to say:
We have a beautiful state with public ocean beaches and plentiful resources from our farms and forests. Many here in Douglas County continue to earn their livelihood farming, ranching and logging.
So do many others around the state. Under the provisions of Measure 37, these folks could find themselves surrounded by large housing subdivisions teeming with people who decide they don't like hearing chain saws at 4 a.m. or having crop dusters drop chemicals close to their backyards.
That's why Measure 49 modifies Measure 37 to more closely align it with what voters said they wanted when it became law in 2004.
This helps explain why I'm not worried about the greater voter turnout so far in rural counties. I don't think this will produce much, if any, of a rural tilt against Measure 49.
As regards the low statewide voter turnout, this shouldn't work against Measure 49 either. At the risk of sounding elitist, I'd just as soon not have uninterested voters cast an uninformed ballot.
Measures 49 and 50 both require some study to fully understand, though the ballot titles alone should be sufficient to stimulate an enthusiastic "Yes" vote.
Lastly, even if rural voters are less likely to favor Measure 49, we have to remember that a few large counties dominate the election results. I perused the Election Division's daily and cumulative voting totals by county (which are current up to yesterday).
While the tri-county area (Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas) lags behind the statewide 32% turnout as of November 1, here's the thing:
Eight of Oregon's 36 counties account for 68% of the votes that have been cast. So far, there are 426,201 votes from Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Marion, Benton, Lane, Jackson, and Deschutes counties, out of a total of 628,350.
So even though it's great that Wheeler county has a 46% turnout to date, and Harney county 44%, those 2,200 ballots are just a blip on the statewide voting radar screen.
All that said, I could be wrong. We'll know November 7.
If you haven't voted yet, take five minutes and do it! Now. There's still time to mail your ballot tomorrow and have it arrive in time to be counted on Tuesday. It just costs the price of a first class stamp.
Democracy is a bargain.
Well I hope you are right. Out here I see about half the signs for each. You can tell usually that the sign saying vote No is someone who wants to subdivide big time or put in a gravel works or something equally big. That might help others, who also live out, to realize what voting No could mean to their lifestyle. Hopefully Oregonians will realize that the only drawback to 49 is for developers and exploiters of land. We already voted YES and hope it's how you predict when the votes are counted.
Posted by: Rain | November 03, 2007 at 09:24 AM
Here's my prediction, and unlike the Dick Hughes, of the SJ, I'll offer some basis for my prediction.
No one who voted against Measure 37 will vote against Measure 49 (with the possible exception of a negligible number of hard-core anti-37 types who believe 49 gives away too much).
If one out of ten people who voted FOR 37 now regret their vote, 49 wins. From those with whom I've talked, more like a third of the pro-37 voters now doubt the wisdom of that vote.
Posted by: Richard | November 03, 2007 at 12:20 PM
I did vote. I've talked with lots of people who didn't even vote when 37 was on the ballot. They've voted now too.
This reamins a battle of haves verses have nots. The quality of life you speak of only revolves around you. You turn a blind eye to your neighbors because you are an elitist.
Your concerns about continuing to farm...and just what are you farming on so small a piece of land (crop dusting 20 acres???)...are unfounded as all counties have the 'right to farm' clause. Every home has to sign off on it.
I and those I've talked with have voted.
NO on 49.
Posted by: Debbie | November 04, 2007 at 11:10 AM
By golly, I believe Debbie is right!
This issue is all about the "haves" and "have-nots".
Thank you Debbie for pointing that out.
Thankfully, Measure 49 supporters "have" the vast majority of votes.
I would hate to be on the side of "have nots"
Posted by: HarryVanderpool | November 04, 2007 at 08:23 PM
I disagree with you assertion that this is a debate between the haves and the havenots. For one, this is not supported by the research on past votes relating to land-use in Oregon. Historically support for land-use planning has cut across income levels and geography.
Secondly, both opponents and proponents of Measure 49 are largely the haves: those who have property in land. Those who don't own land still have lots at stake, even if they don't always recognize it and vote accordingly.
However the pool of eligible Measure 37 claimants is a limited population that can only really grow with inheritance. Hence what is at stake for non-landowners isn't the opportunity to develop land.
What is at stake for non-landowners is the right- through the land-use planning system- to have a voice in land-use decisions. Measure 37 largely wipes out their voices by eliminating the weighing of development rights against other public values by state and local government. Measure 49 helps restore this balance to some degree.
Posted by: Jim Labbe | November 06, 2007 at 12:13 AM