The "double majority" now required when any local property tax measure is on the ballot is blatantly undemocratic. Measure 56 would restore reason to the voting process.

    Currently, registered voters who don't vote can negate the results of those who do vote. Our Jackson County library levy was defeated last year partly because less than 50 percent of registered voters voted. Even if every vote cast was a yes, every nonvoter became a no.

    My wife and I thought a voter registration drive among local high school and college students who generally support libraries would help the levy pass. The idea was quickly rejected by those more savvy. Why? Because every registered voter who did not vote would count as a no, and busy students might not cast their ballots.

    So in 21st century Oregon, our state law strongly discourages the voter registration of our young, educated citizens. Please support measure 56 to correct this abysmal situation. — Marvin Kazmin, Medford

    I'm 18 and will soon vote for the first time.

    On Oct. 19, Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama. Gen. Powell is a highly respected American whose patriotism cannot be questioned. His reasons were based on his military and government experience.

    He also addressed a very troubling aspect of this presidential campaign — the polarization along lines of race and religion encouraged by the McCain campaign and especially the Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin at her rallies.

    Today I saw a bumper sticker that said NOBAMA with the Islamic crescent and star in place of Obama's sunrise logo. This made me very sad because I assumed that thinking people would not believe the widely disproven allegations that Obama is a Muslim, but even more because it shows lack of tolerance for diversity and religious freedom that America is supposed to represent.

    I encourage everyone to view Gen. Powell's interview at www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/27265490#27265490. — Rex Bufalino, Medford

    Important facts to know before you vote:

    McCain was 894 in a class of 899 at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. His father and grandfather were admirals, his ticket to the academy.

    He pursued Cindy before his divorce from his first wife.

    Ross Perot paid for his first wife's surgeries — not McCain!

    Keating 5: McCain accepted large sums of money and gifts from Keating, head of Lincoln Savings & Loan. McCain tried to block investigation and prosecution of Keating. McCain was scolded.

    McCain's stepson is head of a failed bank in Arizona.

    McCain has supported Bush's policies 90 percent of the time.

    McCain — an angry, old, white rich guy working for the rich.

    George Will in The Washington Post said it best: McCain has used "fact-free slander" and "substitution of vehemence for coherence."

    Vote Obama/Biden — meritocracy! — Darlene O'Hara, Medford

    Do we want proven leadership? Do we want someone who has demonstrated his love for America, has paid a great price for our freedom and is completely open about his life and past?

    Do we want someone who defends the life and rights of even the smallest and most vulnerable human being? Do we want someone who believes in rewarding hard work, not penalizing hard work?

    Or, are we willing to sacrifice those positive characteristics and follow someone about whom there is a huge shadow of doubt: dubious connections to domestic radicals, support from foreign terrorists, self-described socialist intentions, and a very thin record of leadership? Do we want someone who has vowed as his first act as our leader to wipe out all legal protections for our unborn citizens? Would this truly be a positive change?

    Think, Americans! Pray for wisdom before you vote. — Priscilla DeVos, Talent

    The obvious choice for Circuit Court judge is Doug McGeary.

    As a lawyer with a long and distinguished career, he has helped countless people within our community. He understands our values as a man who is raising his own family here. I know him personally to be a man of the highest integrity who will work hard to ensure we maintain the quality of life we all enjoy.

    I hope you'll join me in voting for Doug McGeary, Jackson County Circuit Court judge, position 6. — Mary Anne "Granny Dollar" Peterson, Jacksonville

    Join me in supporting Doug McGeary for Circuit Court judge, position 6.

    His 20 years of experience in Jackson County as both senior and deputy district attorney and as civil attorney for the county make him the obvious and clear choice. Not only does he have extensive legal experience, but he is supported by judges and colleagues in the legal community as a man with the intelligence, temperament, and commitment for this position.

    Vote Doug McGeary Circuit Court judge. — Laurie Teply, Medford

    John Morrison has the experience Olney hasn't; write in Morrison for Jackson County commissioner.

    C.W. Smith likes to get his own way. When challenged, he bullies you by saying, "Are you a lawyer?" No, and neither is he.

    Before the library measure was defeated, I challenged the building of a library in Talent. I asked what he would do if the measure failed. His reply — "I would sell the libraries." There was a witness to this statement. Smith then proceeded to build a library in White City and beautify a motel ($1 million-plus) with urban renewal funds you cannot vote on or have a say on.

    Want to bet Smith and Gilmour will not secretly get their raise? When Gilmour first ran for commissioner he pledged to work for one-third less. Never happened. Now C.W. wants a cost of living raise; I bet $20,000 would do. — A. Pedersen, Central Point

    I want to compliment you on the "Our choice: Obama" editorial Friday, Oct. 17. The article was thoughtful, concise and very well articulated.

    You did a wonderful job of expressing your viewpoints without being offensive or idealistic, all the while maintaining strength in your position. You supported your opinion with facts and lucid reasoning.

    Thank you for presenting the new opportunity before us with coherence and elucidating the choices before us with judiciousness and hope. — Bethany Mulholland, Jacksonville

    Currently, the Oregon primary is set up for the shrinking party faithful of Democrats and Republicans. Candidates that appeal to the extremes move on to the general election, assured of party funding.

    So, during the "debates," instead of answering the questions, candidates go into their memorized stump speeches, repeating the same ideology over and over. And, guess what? When they get elected and go to Salem or Washington, they repeat the same mantra, to continue to attract the same special-interest money they come to rely on for re-election.

    This ignores the call from voters to sit down together and hammer out practical solutions to our problems. Wouldn't it be refreshing if all candidates, no matter what political persuasion, would seek from the beginning the vote of all Oregonians, including the fastest growing part of the electorate — those without a party affiliation?

    What a concept! Vote yes for Measure 65. — Sally Densmore, Medford

    I think we all owe the Mail Trivialune a great big thank you for telling us how to vote instead of wasting their time printing unbiased news.

    As a blue dog Democrat for the last 42 years I find the Mail Triv to be just left of Lenin; so I use their voting guide as follows. If, after careful consideration of the facts, research of unbiased sources and input from my peers (of both parties) I still cannot decide how to cast my vote I simply vote the opposite of the Triv's editorial staff.

    Those who blindly vote with the Triv should simply have their ballots mailed to the editor. — K. Cockrell, Medford

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