Elections, Music, Washington County

As ballots are dropped off in Banks, Lauren Sheehan serenades voters

Lauren Sheehan and Reina. Photo: Chas Hundley

In the Banks Public Library parking lot, more than 100 feet from the one of Washington County’s 21 ballot drop boxes, Lauren Sheehan is strumming a guitar. She’s there as a volunteer for the “Play For The Vote” organization, a nonpartisan group that aims to increase voter turnout with the help of music.

By placing musicians near voting locations, the organization aims to “make the voting experience pleasant,” as Sheehan, a Tillamook County resident put it.

George Gunn’s dog Molly. Photo: Chas Hundley

She was joined by her dog Reina, and George Gunn, a Hillsboro resident who said he’s a fan of Sheehan’s music. He was joined by his dog Molly as they sat under a sprinkling sky on Election Day.

Sheehan said that she and her fellow musicians are instructed to follow all local rules, such as staying at least 100 feet away from drop boxes, and don’t play songs that could be interpreted to support one cause or candidate over another.

Sheehan plans to play in Banks until a little after 2 p.m. this afternoon.

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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