SAVE Estacada plans to work with businesses to boost participation

by: NEWS PHOTO: SCOTT JORGENSEN - Dora Morgan, the registered agent for SAVE Estacada, poses near one of the PACs signs. The November general election is over, with winners just starting to get sworn in to office and losers still licking their wounds.

But it's never too early to start planning for the next round of contested political races, and some Estacada residents are doing exactly that.

A political action committee has been formed under the name of SAVE Estacada. In this case, SAVE stands for “stop the apathy, vote to be empowered.”

Dora Morgan is the registered agent for the PAC, and said that the emphasis will be on increasing turnout and registering more eligible voters.

“I'm surprised at how many people around here think they are registered, but are not,” Morgan said.

After the election, Morgan analyzed the results from Estacada and its various precincts. She discovered that there were more than 300 people in the city who were registered but didn't vote in that election.

“Some of them may have moved or passed on, but there are equally as many in the community here within Estacada that know they aren't registered to vote,” Morgan said. “They just don't care. Why don't they care?”

Morgan, a 25-year resident of Estacada, also found that there were a lot of under-votes in local elections. Just more than 1,500 people were registered to vote in the mayor's race, but only about 1,000 did so, she said.

Her theory is that local residents have “given up” on some level.

“That's part of the apathy around here,” Morgan said. “People who don't vote here don't shop here, either. The feedback that I get is complete disgust.”

One focus of the PAC's nonpartisan efforts will be on making voter registration cards easier for residents to obtain.

Though they can already be found at most government offices, Morgan said she hopes to place them in businesses all over the community.

“We would like to see more businesses around here get involved in offering voter registration,” she said. “We just want them to be more involved.”

Morgan said she also plans to have a website for the PAC up and running fairly soon.

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