|Vote by mail and equality for women|
(detail, January 30th, 1920)
|"A mess" - Oregonian front page today|
But in what really is only a footnote in Oregon political history, a little-known and little-lasting attempt at a third party called for voting by mail exactly 100 years ago! Maybe this is known to specialists, but it seems to be little known in more popular histories of vote-by-mail.
|January 29th, 1920|
|January 30th, 1920|
The project was at first serious enough to occasion a long editorial.
|Long editorial (there is more), January 31st, 1920|
It noted the tensions between "labor and farm interests," and later in March at least one Grange took pains to distance themselves.
|March 18th, 1920|
|The rhetoric of "invasion" and "dictatorship" - March 19th, 1920|
|The party platform in Oregon Voter|
February 14th, 1920
From the platform:
Therefore, in order to promote the welfare and happiness of our State and to restore uniform justice and equal opportunity to all, we demand as a minimum, that the following changes and additions be immediately enacted and put in force:The group disappears from the news in the second half of 1920 and appears to be invisible thereafter. I assume they did not attract numbers and petered out. So while they remain a footnote only, it is interesting to see the call for vote by mail so early, a full century ago!
1. The extension of the direct primary to the initiative, the referendum and the recall.
2. The privilege of voting by mail together with universal registration.
3. The abolition of the State Senate.
4. The public ownership of all public utilities and natural resources.
5. The formation of a department of Agriculture and Industry, and the creation of a fiscal department, whose function shall be the creation of a state marketing system, a state bank and such other industrial activities as may be necessary and desirable.
6. The removal of all unjust taxes from productive industry and the substitution therefor of a more equitable method of taxation.
7. Proportional representation on all elective legislative bodies.
8. That the public schools be placed upon a real democratic basis by making school boards representative through proportional representation and that the object of the schools be to teach democracy rather than to train children merely to be servers of others for profit.
9. We hereby declare for the economic and industrial equality of women together with special protection for the mothers of our future citizens.