House Republican Leader Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg) asked the Legislature’s presiding officers to convene a special session to clarify the boundary of House District 29.
Rep. Hanna said a special session will restore fairness to Jeff Duyck, who is being disqualified by the Secretary of State even though he’s lived and voted in the district since it was originally drawn. In a letter to the Senate President and House Speaker, Rep. Hanna wrote that Duyck’s likely disqualification “demonstrates that the government takes no responsibility” for its mistakes.
“Given the Secretary of State’s ruling on this matter, I call upon you to do the only appropriate thing to right the wrongs done to Mr. Duyck, to correct a seven-year-old mistake and to allow the residents of District 29 to vote on the candidate they chose as their Republican nominee,” Rep. Hanna wrote.
Duyck has been a registered voter in House District 29 since 2001. He has been listed on voter files compiled by Washington County and the Secretary of State as an active voter in the district. He filed to run for office in District 29 and his candidacy was certified by the Secretary of State. Moreover, he won the Republican nomination in District 29 and the Secretary of State certified him as the nominee in that district.
A citizen’s complaint about Duyck’s residency prompted Washington County to redefine the district’s boundary as being 30 feet from his residence. The Secretary of State, who originally drew the boundary through Duyck’s property in 2001, upheld the complaint.
“What seems to have clearly been an oversight by the Legislature in 2001 led to an egregious mistake by elections officials; and this mistake led to erroneously counted votes in District 29 and the inability of Mr. Duyck to participate in the representative governance of District 26,” Rep. Hanna said.
While in special session, Rep. Hanna said that specific sections of ORS 188.275 could be amended to clarify the boundaries of House District 26 and House District 29.
“In the future, I hope to see the Legislature exercise greater caution in drawing lines and inadvertently splitting property,” Rep. Hanna wrote. “In the meantime, I hope you will do the right thing and call our colleagues to Salem to amend the boundary of District 29 to include a small parcel of land on which Mr. Duyck’s house sits just feet away from the existing, arbitrary boundary dividing his property.”