Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Marion County commissioners meet Wednesday

May 24, 2021 at 3:43pm

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Bill that would count ballots after Election Day passes Oregon House


A stack of counted and signed ballot envelopes at the Marion County Elections Office. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

The Oregon House passed a bill intended to fix what some say is a flaw in the state’s vote-by-mail system that disenfranchises voters. 

THE ISSUE: Thousands of Oregon voters have their ballots discarded because they were delivered after Election Day. 

THE BILL: House Bill 3291 

WHAT IT DOES: Allows ballots that are postmarked by Election Day to be counted if received within seven days after. 

WHY IT WAS PROPOSED: Proponents of the bill say the current deadline disenfranchises rural, low-income and minority communities. There are over 20 states, including Washington and California, that accept ballots postmarked after Election Day. 


State Rep. Teresa Alonso León, D-Woodburn: Yes

State Rep. Brian Clem, D-Salem: Yes

State Rep. Paul Evans, D-Monmouth: Yes

State Rep. Rick Lewis, R-Silverton: No

State Rep. Raquel Moore-Green, R-Salem: No

State Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence: No

Sate Rep. Bill Post, R-Keizer: No

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: The bill heads to the Oregon Senate for consideration. 

-Jake Thomas

May 24, 2021 at 1:32pm

Design a game, explore the forest or play the drums at free Salem summer camps

Third-grade student Levi Black cuts out a shape during an art lesson at Salem Heights Elementary School on Oct. 18, 2019 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Salem students have less than a month before classes end for the year, but they'll have plenty of options to stay busy this summer with free camps and activities.

The Salem-Keizer School District is offering more than 200 two-week summer camps at schools across the district. Programs are designed for students in specific grades and include offerings focused on science, music, art, career skills and more.

Options include a French language and culture camp for kindergarten through eighth grade students, robotics camps for middle and high school students, forestry, Dungeons and Dragons, theater, fused glass art and more.

A complete list of camps with dates and grade levels is available on the district website. Registration is open now and closes May 31. The district will use a lottery system to select students for camps if there's more interest than slots available.

High school students can earn class credit for some camps.

The programs are possible thanks to a windfall of state money intended to help Oregon school districts offer more in-person activities this summer following a year of mostly online classes for most of the state's public school students.

-Rachel Alexander

May 24, 2021 at 12:31pm

AGENDA: Marion County commissioners meet Wednesday to consider DHS funding

The Marion County Board of Commissioners meets Wednesday to consider approving $300,000 from the Department of Human Services for the county. The would be used to provide job placement services to vocational rehabilitation participants referred by DHS retroactive from April 1, 2021, through March 31, 2023.  


Commissioners will consider appointing Marisa Roskelley to the Marion County Parks Commission with a term ending May 26, 2025.

They will also hold a public hearing on amending the Marion County Comprehensive Plan Urbanization Element to remove an outdated reference to a framework.

Meeting details: The commissioners meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Senator Hearing Room at 555 Court Street N.E. The meeting is streamed live on YouTube

How to participate: Anyone wishing to testify over the phone must pre-register on the following website no later than 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25, 2021:  https://apps.co.marion.or.us/PublicHearingsRegistration/

-Saphara Harrell