Vote by mail and the double majority requirement

I’m not sure all of our readers know about the “double majority” requirement.  This is part of the Oregon constitution, and requires not only that 50% of the voters approve tax and bond measures, but 50% of all registered voters as well.  Hence the name “double majority.”

This requirement has worked as the proponents intended, making it harder to pass new revenue measures.  Now there is a referendum on the ballot to overturn this requirement.

What I find interesting in the debate is an emerging theme that voting by mail actually decreases turnout in these circumstances.  Knowing that an “absention” is, in fact, more powerful than a
“no” vote (since a “no” vote counts toward the majority needed for the turnout threshold), some tax opponents may purposely refuse to turn out.

But would they behave differently at the ballot box?  I’m not sure.

Stories here and here.