It is almost time to celebrate National Voter Registration Day (#NVRD)!
What is #NVRD? National Voter Registration Day is a nonpartisan civic holiday to get Americans registered to vote and #VoteReady. It’s held on the 4th Tuesday of September. Last year alone 1.5 million people were registered to vote around the country!
Get Vote Ready Virtual Workshops
To celebrate her favorite national holiday, Catherine McMullen, candidate for Clackamas County Clerk and certified elections administrator is offering Get #VoteReady virtual workshops on Thursday, September 23 and Monday, September 27 at 6PM.
You will learn:
Oregon specific –
How to help someone register to vote.
How to prepare for a voter registration drive in your community.
Get questions answered about special circumstances.
Ensure underrepresented communities are able to register to vote and to vote.
Clackamas County specific –
Know when the next election is and what will be on the ballot in your community.
This will be a 25 minute presentation on Google Meet followed by time for questions. This is a non-partisan event and all are welcome to attend. SIGN UP is required. Sign up for either session here. We will email you an event invite after sign up. After the workshop you will be ready to register your community to vote on #NVRD 2021 and beyond!
Community Social Service Fair in Milwaukie
On Saturday, October 2, 2021, 9AM – 12PM Catherine and Clackamas Voice will also be doing voter registration and updates at the Community Services Network Drive-Thru Community Resource Fair at Breakside Brewery in Milwaukie (5821 SE International Way). All are welcome! Fairs are free and open to the public. Look for the Clackamas Voice booth and come say hello!
Clackamas County: What’s on my ballot?
Local elections count! Many but not all communities in Clackamas County will have a November 2, 2021 Special Election. The cities of Canby, Estacada, Gladstone, Lake Oswego, Oregon City, and West Linn will have measures for voters to weigh in on. The Lake Oswego School District and the Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue District will also have measures on the ballot. Where you live (residence address) determines what is on your ballot. There are no candidates on the ballot in November. You can read the details of each ballot measure and your voters’ pamphlet on the Clackamas County November 2, 2021 Special Election page.
The Voter Registration Deadline for this election is Tuesday, October 12, 2021. You can register to vote or update your voter information at www.oregonvotes.gov or with a paper form. Make sure to update your voter registration if you have moved. We are happy to mail or drop off a paper form if you need one. We want to make sure you have the tools you need to be #VoteReady for each and every election.
Now is the time to help your community register to vote and be ready to vote in the next election! You can also jump in to help with Catherine McMullen’s campaign to be the next Clackamas County Clerk. You can get involved today with a connection, donation, endorsement, or sign up to volunteer. Welcome!
Notes and updates to the Catherine McMullen for Clackamas County Clerk campaign.
In August 2021, at their annual conference in Boardman, Oregon, Catherine McMullen was certified by the Oregon Association of County Clerks (OACC) as a Certified Elections Administrator. Certification is earned from years of experience, education, and training before being approved by the association.
Elections official and voter-focused public servant Catherine McMullen (West Linn) was the first to file for the office of Clackamas County Clerk Thursday morning at the county elections office in Oregon City. McMullen was cheered on by a small group of friends, supporters, and voters.
The position is slated to be on the ballot for the May 2022 Primary Election. The Clackamas County Clerk is a nonpartisan office with a critical role in protecting democracy and making local government accessible. The County Clerk is a vital link between citizens and their local government.
“Today is a big day, not just for the campaign, but for furthering democracy in Clackamas County. After much consideration, I made the final decision to run for office and announced in July; today on filing day we dig into the work of improving the way all future elections will be conducted in Clackamas County,” McMullen said. “It is time for new leadership in the County Clerk’s office. It is time for safe, secure, and transparent elections processes. It is time for inclusive and equitable voter education and for all eligible Clackamas County citizens to have access to the ballot.” To date, McMullen’s committee Voices for Catherine McMullen has raised more than $10,000 in contributions from more than 140 supporters.
A former public librarian turned elections administrator, McMullen shifted her focus from books to ballots six years ago. Most recently she is working with the Multnomah County Elections Department. Through her experiences as a citizen, community leader, and voter in Clackamas County, she identified a need for more competence, transparency, and responsiveness in local elections. Over the last decade elections administration has become a professional occupation needing technological expertise, modern public administration approaches, community awareness, and engagement with each county resident. McMullen is the innovative and qualified elections administrator that Clackamas County needs to move forward in this changing environment.
Dedicated Oregonian, Experienced Public Servant, and Family Advocate
McMullen earned an Executive Master in Public Administration (EMPA) from the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University (2019). She also recently received certification (2021) from the Oregon Association of County Clerks (OACC) as a Certified Elections Administrator (CEA). Her earlier education includes a BA in Comparative Literature (Spanish/English) from the University of California Davis and a Master in Library and Information Science (MLIS) from University of Washington.
McMullen and her husband, Michael Barton, met, married and started their family in Bozeman, MT. In 2011, McMullen joined the Canby Public Library as a project librarian to create and improve library services to Spanish-speaking families. She built lasting relationships with community leaders and non-profits; revitalized multilingual book collections; and developed culturally specific programing such as Día del Niño, Día del Libro. In 2015, McMullen seized the opportunity to create the first Voter Education and Outreach Program in the state.
The family has two children. Patrick was born in 2006 and Afton in 2012. In 2016 Afton had brain surgery at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital for treatment of epilepsy. As she grew Afton’s unique brain function became more understood, and at seven years old she was diagnosed with autism. Through this journey with her daughter, McMullen learned to navigate school and health systems as a parent of a child with disabilities. Both children are students in West Linn and Afton receives the accommodation she needs. McMullen, in advocating for her autistic daughter, has become a better advocate for the rights of everyone in a community.
Voter-focused Election Administrator
In 2015 Catherine McMullen changed careers to create, develop, and lead the new Voter Education and Outreach (VEO) Program as part of Multnomah County Elections. Work started with surveys, targeted outreach, demographic research, and building relationships with community leaders. Despite early challenges, McMullen implemented steps to reach the universal goal of every eligible voter being able to vote without barriers. Direct outcomes include increased language access to voting for non-English speaking residents, improved widespread communication around services for voters with disabilities, and the design, planning, and implementation of a satellite voter service center in the eastern part of the county. Through the program McMullen was able to move the elections office from a ballot-focused to a voter-focused service delivery model.
In 2019, upon completion of the EMPA at Portland State University, McMullen was appointed the Lake County (CA) Registrar of Voters. She served as the head elections official for the county navigating local and gubernatorial recall processes, hiring staff, upgrading technology, managing county-wide power outages, installing the new Hart Intercivic voting system, and conducting a fall special district election. Later she became the Good Governance Administrator for the City of Sacramento Clerk’s Office. There she facilitated ethics commission activities, determined ethics violations investigation procedures, and recruited for a new city redistricting commission. As the pandemic unfolded, McMullen pivoted recruitment to an online effort and was able to successfully recruit a diverse and qualified applicant pool.
The pandemic clarified priorities for McMullen and her family. In June 2020, she returned home to Oregon, settled in West Linn, and returned to work with Oregon elections in Multnomah County. There McMullen conducted three elections during the pandemic and was recognized by her peers with a county-wide award for her work in voter education, outreach, and communication to voters during the November 2020 Election. McMullen’s most recent voter engagement effort Clackamas Voice focuses on the community she lives in and has a primary goal of eliminating barriers to voter access and education, increasing transparency in elections, and bringing more diverse voices to local-decision making in Clackamas County.
What issues will Catherine McMullen address?
Equitable and Fair Access to the Ballot. McMullen will prioritize voter education and participation for all eligible voters in the county. She will increase engagement in local elections by focusing resources on historically ignored voters; including young voters; voters with disabilities; Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other voters of color; voters in rural communities; voters registered through the automatic voter registration; and voters facing housing insecurity or economic uncertainty.
Safe, Secure, and Transparent Election Administration. McMullen will ensure the equal processing of each ballot so that every vote is counted accurately. She will address ballot chain of custody concerns adding needed security and transparency to elections administration.
Empower Diverse Voices in Local Decision-Making. McMullen will work with community stakeholders to empower the many communities that make up the rich diversity found in Clackamas County. She will ensure easy access to public records, put in place sound records management practices, and encourage public participation with voter and candidate resources.
Officiate Weddings. McMullen will ensure her office processes passport applications and issues marriage licenses without personal judgement or regard to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or age. She will prioritize officiating weddings for all residents, including same sex couples.
Catherine McMullen is running for County Clerk to ensure that all communities in Clackamas County have a voice in local decision-making, have access to the ballot, and can participate in local government. While both an experienced elections administrator and long time public servant, McMullen is a first time candidate for office. When not out in the community you can find her working from the public library moving the campaign forward one step at a time. She is taking this critical step of running for County Clerk so that everyone in Clackamas County will have a voice. How will you use your voice?
How you can get involved in Catherine McMullen’s campaign
Catherine McMullen joined in with Bridging Cultures/Puentes Entre Culturas in Canby this morning to bring Anglo and Latinx community together for the first Sabado en el Parque since COVID19 began. Bridging Cultures in Canby strives to create and build relationships that create an equitable community.
We started the morning working together to hang papel picado throughout Wait City Park, special decorations with Bridging Cultures/Puentes Entre Culturas cut into the colorful and delicate crepe paper.
Members of Canby Kiwanis and Bridging Cultures helped to serve food to about 200 community members. Son de Cuba played on the park gazebo stage, there was a COVID19 vaccination clinic, and community and nonprofit organizations (PCUN, Northwest Family Services, Todos Juntos, etc.) connected with residents.
We connected with the Canby community in our Clackamas Voice tees and helped with voter registration, shared information about the next election (November 2, 2021 Special Election), and introduced Catherine McMullen as the candidate to choose for Clackamas County Clerk in 2022.
Catherine even had the chance to introduce herself to the crowd, in a brief first campaign speech, “Hola a todos. Me llamo Catherine McMullen. ¡Quiero ser su Secretaria del condado de Clackamas! Es muy importante que todos quieran votar, pueden votar.
Hello everyone! I want to be your next Clackamas County Clerk. It is important to me that everyone that is eligible to vote is able to vote!”
Catherine officially files for office next week and will be on the ballot in 2022. Make a contribution today for equitable and inclusive voter education and access and help move Clackamas County forward!
Are you interested in being part of the next campaign event? Sign up to be a campaign volunteer!
In my meetings with voters around our county the last few weeks I’ve gotten feedback that most people haven’t yet read the article from the Pamplin Media Group by Jaelen Ogadhoh dated July 27, 2021 around my campaign.
Oregon is touted far and wide as the easiest place in America to vote. When asked, “What would a system that wanted people to vote look like?” Stacey Abrams replied, “Oregon.” Voting in Oregon is easy, transparent, and even safe during a pandemic. Right?
Oregon residents who are United States citizens can register to vote at 16 to get their first ballot at 18; can get registered through an automatic process after a visit to the DMV; and then for each and every election are mailed a ballot to their home. But what if you are experiencing homelessness or housing instability? If you do not have a stable home address and have to pick up and move more often, you are dramatically less likely to receive a ballot, and then subsequently vote in each election.
Our state remains a shining example to the rest of the country that, in the words of President Biden, “The right to vote freely. The right to vote fairly. The right to have your vote counted” is possible and has been a reality for Oregonians for more than two decades. Despite the fact that the ease of voting is an assumption for most Oregonians, “Vote-at-home” is not so easy for underrepresented communities that struggle with economic inequality, housing instability, and homelessness.
It is more expensive to be poor and it is also harder to vote. The average American moves once every five years. But economic inequality forces families to move more often. Looking at census data, geographic mobility is in direct correlation to poverty: the higher the percentage of persons that have moved in the last year, the higher the percentage of persons below the poverty line in a given community.
Low-income families, “are forced by urgent crises to choose the safest, most convenient locations necessary for immediate survival rather than take the time to find neighborhoods with great schools and job opportunities. These recurrent, unpredictable shocks often include housing quality failure, housing policy changes, landlord behaviors, income changes, and neighborhood violence,” according to recent research by S. DeLuca at Johns Hopkins University. The more often you move the harder it is to ensure that your ballot will find you, and the harder it becomes to choose leaders and make decisions on your ballot that will foster good schools and enable opportunities for success in your community.
Housing instability and homelessness add a daily insidious layer of obstacles to overcome, obstacles to nutrition, hygiene, safety, and also obstacles to voting. Yes, you do have the right to vote if you are experiencing homelessness, but it is so much more difficult to exercise that right. The emerging eviction crisis and continuing affordable housing emergency in Oregon only amplify the obstacles to voting for the most vulnerable communities.
We can begin to address these obstacles to voter registration with tangible actions:
Create more opportunities for automatic voter registration in addition to the DMV such as hunting licences, social services, and community college admissions.
Create a program that encourages property managers to include a voter registration opportunity as part of the lease signing process.
Support social and nonprofit organizations that provide direct services to families in poverty and people experiencing homelessness in voter registration and ballot access.
Support culturally responsive organizations that can connect communities to voter registration and participation in immediately tangible ways.
Embrace the improvements to voter access that HB 3291 (Election Day postmarked ballots) will bring to Oregon and on the National level pass H.R. 1 The For the People Act so that the rest of the country can begin to vote like Oregon does.
Improving voter registration accessibility, accuracy, and accountability will encourage voter participation across diverse communities, leading to increased opportunities for individual and community success, and in turn more responsive public decision-making.
Did you know? If you are at least 16 years old you can register to vote!
To be eligible to register to vote in Oregon you must be 1) a citizen of the United States, 2) a resident of Oregon, and 3) at least 16 years old. After you are registered your County Clerk’s office will automatically mail a ballot to you for the next election after your 18th birthday.
If you register as soon as you are eligible you won’t have to remember to register at least 21 days before that first election after you turn 18. And if it is one of the many local but still important elections that don’t get national press you’ll still get your ballot mailed to you and have the opportunity to vote even if you didn’t know about it yet. You will still be able to vote in each and every election once you turn 18! Let your election administrator track which election that may be. It is an important part of our job; to send all registered voters a ballot for each election they qualify for.
Your job is to get registered to vote as soon as you are eligible! Eligible today? Register today! Register to vote online at www.oregonvotes.gov/register. If you don’t have an Oregon drivers license, ID, or permit you’ll have to register on a paper registration form. Send me a message and I can drop off or mail a registration form to you.
Equitable and Fair Access to the Ballot. Catherine will prioritize voter education and voter participation for all eligible voters in Clackamas County. She will increase voter participation in local elections by focusing targeted resources on historically ignored voters; including young voters; voters with disabilities; Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other voters of color; voters in rural communities; voters registered through the state automatic voter registration process; and voters facing housing insecurity or economic uncertainty.
Safe, Secure, and Transparent Election Administration. Catherine will ensure an equal preparation and processing of each ballot ensuring that every vote is counted accurately and that everyone may have a voice. Catherine McMullen will address ballot chain of custody concerns adding long needed levels of security and transparency to elections administration in Clackamas County.
In 2017, Elections Infrastructure was designated as part of our nation’s critical infrastructure by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. As your County Clerk, Catherine will put into place key recommendations of the Elections Infrastructure – ISAC to ensure Clackamas County voters can trust in the accuracy and security of their local election systems.
In addition Catherine McMullen will increase transparency for voters, candidates, and jurisdictions alike with clear technology-based solutions. She will offer voters an opt-in ballot tracking service, so you can know when your ballot has been mailed to you and then when it has been accepted and counted. You will know that your vote has been counted.
Catherine will also improve Election Night results reporting for local, state, and federal elections ensuring that the most up-to-date results are reported out on a regular schedule after 8 p.m. on Election Day. Election results will be accurate, clear, and easily accessible to voters, candidates, and the media for each and every contest.
Empower Diverse Voices in Local Decision-Making. Catherine will work with community leaders and diverse stakeholders to empower and strengthen the many communities that make up the rich diversity found in Clackamas County. She will ensure easy access to public records, put in place sound records management practices, and encourage public participation though voter outreach and candidate resources.
Officiate Weddings. Catherine McMullen will ensure her office processes passport applications and issues marriage licenses without personal judgement or regard to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or age. She will prioritize officiating weddings for Clackamas County residents once again, including same sex and queer couples.
The Clackamas County Clerk is an elected nonpartisan office and has a critical role in protecting democracy and making local government accessible. The County Clerk is the link between the citizen and their local government, through voting, civic involvement, and public records.
The County Clerk administers and conducts all local, state, and federal elections for Clackamas County residents. She is responsible for maintaining the voter registration record, and working with all candidates, jurisdictions, and citizens to understand and follow election processes and law. She is charged with ensuring every eligible voter has the information they need to register to vote, and then to VOTE!
The County Clerk is a keeper of the public record, recording important documents around real property transactions and taxes. She enables transparency and citizen access to government through responding to public information requests and providing accessible public examination of records.
The County Clerk processes passport applications and issues marriage licences. The Clerk may also officiate weddings.
Catherine McMullen is a voter-focused election administrator, a lifelong public servant, a champion for voting rights, a community leader, a wife, and a mother. Catherine and her partner Michael have chosen to make Oregon their home, and are raising their two children in West Linn, in the historic Willamette neighborhood.
Catherine is the oldest of three girls, raised in rural northern California by parents who were entrepreneurs and worked in agriculture, drilling water wells; neither of whom went to college. Catherine has a B.A. from UC Davis, a Master in Library and Information Science (MLIS) from University of Washington, and in 2019 received an Executive Master in Public Administration (EMPA) from the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University. She also holds certification from the Oregon Association of County Clerks (OACC) as a Certified Elections Administrator (CEA).
Catherine McMullen is a program specialist senior for Multnomah County Elections and has been an elections administrator since 2015. She began her public service career more than 17 years ago as a public librarian. Catherine started, developed and fought for the award-winning Voter Education and Outreach Program in 2015, the only local government program of its kind in the state of Oregon. Catherine’s new voter engagement effort Clackamas Voice has a primary goal of eliminating barriers to voter access and participation, increasing voter education and transparency in elections processes, and bringing more diverse voices to local-decision making in Clackamas County.
Catherine is an active member of the West Linn Alliance for Inclusion and is focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in her personal and professional life. Catherine created the Voter Language Access Program in Portland; hiring bilingual election workers, working in partnership with language communities, and producing resources and information in multiple languages for voters. Catherine also supports women candidates in Haiti, through the Haiti Democracy Project. Catherine and her spouse, Michael have a passion project, Children at Nature Play that celebrates the right of all children to play in nature, and all families to be welcome in outdoor spaces without prejudice. Catherine and Michael’s youngest child is autistic and spending time in Oregon’s natural spaces rejuvenates and brings the family together.