Have no fear. We are not going to conclude this pre-election editorial by telling you how to vote on Measures 66 and 67.
You've been given enough advice.
We are, however, going to discuss the efforts of both sides to win your vote, and hope that they've made you mad as hell.
When was it, exactly, that political campaigns - not just in Oregon, but also across the nation - took this despicable turn? When was it decided that a victory for your side is all that matters and, to that end, that it's perfectly okey-doke to lie, cheat, misrepresent your opponents, warp the truth, intentionally mislead voters and even commit flagrant acts of fraud?
If you haven't been exposed to the debates over these tax measures ... well, you're probably as clear on them as those who have. In a nutshell, the most fervent opponents and supporters want you to believe that if they do not pass or fail, the state of Oregon will fall apart like a cheap suit, escaped convicts will be allowed to move into your neighborhood and zombies will eat your children.
Just in case you don't believe their claims, these folks have come up with even more creative ways to obtain or - this is almost as good - eliminate your vote.
The League of Women Voters filed a complaint against "no" campaign lobbyist Mark Nelson for mailing fake ballots to registered voters. These genuine-looking documents even contained instructions for recipients to return them as soon as possible.
If the charge is true, one can only assume that Nelson expected people to fill them out, mail them in, and ignore the arrival of real ballots because, heck, they'd already voted!
The trickery of the "yes" lobbyists, meanwhile, began in the official Oregon Voters Pamphlet, wherein they placed paid statements in favor of the measures in last place in the section labeled "arguments in opposition." Unlike the tactic attributed to Mr. Nelson, this one was legal - but it, too, was a blatant deception, and it has likely misled many more voters than the bogus ballots.
Of course, all of this goes on because these unscrupulous folks know that the vast majority of voters won't take the time to leaf through and analyze the 92-page voters' pamphlet and are, therefore, ripe to be fooled.
It's frightening to consider how many voters will end up punching chad not in support of what they actually think is best for the state, but in support of the election's most effective liars, frauds and con artists.
We'll leave it up to you to vote for or against Measures 66 and 67. But we do hope that before you vote, you'll learn as much as you can about both measures, on your own, from sources you trust.
For better or worse, that's the only way we can vote "no" on political trickery.
Michael Burkett is editor of the North Coast Citizen and Cannon Beach Citizen.