Oregon GMO labelers ally with marijuana legalization campaign in voter registration drive

Young adults tend to be the least likely to vote in Oregon – particularly in non-presidential years.

But the campaigns aimed at legalizing marijuana and requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods see young voters as a big key to victory, so they’re both contributing six-figure sums to a voter registration effort being conducted by one of the state’s major liberal political groups, Our Oregon.

The voter registration campaign is particularly aimed at voters in such Democratic strongholds as Portland and Eugene – and the pot and anti-GMO money could wind up helping Democratic candidates as well.

“I think progressive campaigns across the state have a common cause,” said Peter Zuckerman, a spokesman for the marijuana legalization campaign. “We’re really working hard to reach out to young people.”

Our Oregon was set up by the state’s powerful public employee unions and now works with a coalition of groups on the left side of the political spectrum on a variety of nuts-and-bolts political tasks.

One of Our Oregon’s big election-year tasks is to oversee and coordinate voter registration efforts by a variety of groups.

This kind of voter registration effort is particularly important to liberal groups because younger people tend to move more frequently and get dropped from the voter rolls under Oregon’s vote-by-mail system.

Our Oregon spokesman Scott Moore said there are approximately 700,000 unregistered but potentially eligible voters in Oregon and “we’re doing everything we can to make a dent in that.”

New Approach Oregon, the group sponsoring the marijuana initiative, reported giving $100,000 to Our Oregon, largely for voter registration, Zuckerman said.

The GMO labeling campaign has recently written checks to Our Oregon totaling $140,000.

“We’re really putting an emphasis on field work this year,” which includes such activities as voter registration and voter-turnout canvassing, said Sandeep Kaushik, spokesman for the Vote Yes on 92 campaign.

Read the full, original article: Marijuana and GMO labeling campaigns kick in $240,000 to voter registration drive by liberal group


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