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Oregon redistricting amendment supporters challenge the state's signature laws

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July 23, 2010

SALEM, Oregon: The final petition count for the proposed Oregon Independent Redistricting Commission Amendment has yet to be announced but this week initiative supporters filed a challenge of the state's signature laws. Specifically, the lawsuit filed against the Oregon Secretary of State argues that the state's current signature checking rules are more restrictive than stipulated by state law.[1]

Prior to the final validation of the signatures, the Elections Division said they had thrown out 12,975 signatures. According to reports, the dismissal of the signatures makes it unlikely that the measure will qualify for the 2010 ballot. "We know we can't make it on the ballot if they pull this many without even looking at them," said Kevin Mannix, who helped write the initiative.[2]

Disqualifying signatures is "a very normal part of the process" according to state officials. of the total number of signatures submitted by supporters, approximately 10% were thrown out. According to reports, signatures were disqualified if a petitioner wrote the date incorrectly, the signers' dates did not match or because an address was listed more than once in similar writing. According to state's administrative rules, all are valid reasons to disqualify petitions.[2] According to Tyler Smith, attorney for the initiative backers, the state's rules for disqualifying a petition due to at least one error is "not a legitimate exercise" and is unfair.[2]

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