By Yessenia Anderson
GRANTS PASS,Ore.–It was down a food stand strip of vendors that Voter Power Foundation said they set up their booth but were told to tear down several hours later.
The Grants Pass Active Club, organizers of Boatnik, said they gave the OK to the foundation under certain terms.
“They told us that they were here just to get people to register to vote. So we said sure! Free booth we allow that,” said club president, J.J Deforest.
Voter Power said their agreement was much more detailed and they do not feel they misrepresented their intent.
“We told them we were petition for an initiative and we were selling products and on the contract is said what the products were,” said board of directors secretary, Geri Kult.
Officials said once they learned about the petitioning, they acted immediately.
“A group of red jacketed gentlemen part of the active club came up and said we’re going to have to ask you to leave,” said Kult. Asking the members to keep the forms outside of the isle ways, giving them the entrances and exits to petition from.
“It’s all theirs. We make sure that we have a quality environment for our families at the same time, freedom of speech. We understand that,” said Deforest.
That understanding wasn’t enough for Kult.
“Well, I am not leaving, I have the right to be here, this is my booth space and I haven’t done anything wrong. I haven’t been warned of doing anything wrong,” said Kult.
Kult was arrested on charges of trespassing. On Saturday, her colleagues returned to continue her work and were met with a similar warning.
Organizers said their intent is to give visitors a hassle-free zone once they’re inside the Boatnik event. Petitioners are now seeking legal action saying those limitations are not constitutional.
“They violated our rights as petitioners or citizens to petition our government,” said Voter Power member, Kyle Lacasio.
Voter Power members said they will continue to gather signatures through out the Boatnik event with the understand that if they do pass the petition free zone they could get arrested.