PORTLAND, Ore. — With time running low before the deadline for voting, those who are canvassing and encouraging voters are working hard.
Late Monday morning, in Northeast Portland, Michelle Ruffin was pounding the pavement. As the Oregon organizer for a national group called Forward Together, she’s familiar with going door-to-door.
Her group is targeting voters who are not white.
“We're focused on voters of color because there are absolutely barriers to voting,” she said.
Her team of 10 knocked on 15,000 doors in the last two months, prepping voters and "hoping to make the process easy for them,” said Ruffin.
She's also hoping they'll vote no on measures 105 and 106. She's a graduate of Pacific University and a big believer in the power of one vote.
“I would say I totally believe in it,” she said.
Going door-to-door is not for the faint of heart. At one door, her knock is answered by a Halloween decoration on the door. A skull with blazing red eyes cries out that no one is home. She laughs at the surprising voice. But her mission here is serious.
“By targeting and talking to voters of color in Portland we're able to listen at the door. We're able to hear peoples experiences and how this affects their lives and empower them, to vote,” she said.
In Vancouver, a group of Republicans gathered at the busy corner of Chkalov and Mill Plain, waving signs including one that said "Make America Great Again".
Kris Greene was holding an umbrella as a drizzle began.
“We live in the best country on the planet. And I just want to make sure people get out and vote,” he said.
Greene owns a local insurance agency. He said he woke up three weeks ago and decided he was not doing enough to encourage voters. Since then he’s gathered friends at this corner from 7 - 8:30 a.m. to wave at morning commuters.
“Whether you’re on the left or the right -- doesn’t matter. Just get out and vote!" said Greene.
He was joined by Ann Donnelly, a past chair of the Clark County Republican Party. She's been involved in voting and politics for 60 years.
“I grew up reading history. And when you read history you understand how important our country is --because there's never been a country like our country,” she said.
Carolyn Crain was sharing the corner too, wearing a bright red sweater with an American flag sewn in the middle.
“Everybody needs to vote. Absolutely. Every legitimate citizen that has the ability to vote should vote,” said Crain.
They hope by making a spectacle, voters will think about their responsibility and fill out a ballot.
“I want to spread the message and I want to make sure people take their power, the only power they have--and their pen and exercise their voice!” Crain said.