Oregon voters lost another round to the Secretary of State this week.
The Oregon constitution guarantees the right of initiative. It gives voters the ability to change laws, but only in theory. Petitioners have to gather enough signatures to show there is sufficient interest.
But, the Secretary of State, Bill Bradbury, has invented a raft of rules. He says those rules protect the initiative process. That’s a lie. What they really do is give him the right to disqualify enough signatures to keep an initiative off the ballot.
This week petitioners turned in signatures to put a new rule on homosexual partnerships to a vote. Oregonians had already voted, and voted “no” on the idea. Petitioners gathered 60,000 signatures.
Bradbury used his rules, invented by him, and not subject to any public vote to disqualify 7,500 of them. Finding one voter, who signed twice in Polk County alone, was enough to eliminate 400 legitimate signatures. The measure failed to make the ballot by just 116 signatures.
That’s just dead wrong.