SALEM, Ore. — The latest petition to recall Governor Kate Brown has fallen short of the minimum signatures needed to trigger a recall election, the Oregon Republican Party conceded on Monday.
“To our great disappointment, the 'Stop The Abuse - Recall Kate Brown' campaign has fallen 2,796 signatures or less than 1 percent short of the minimum number of 280,050 signatures required to qualify to put a recall of the Governor on the ballot this fall,” said Chairman Bill Currier. “It is the highest bar for petition signature gathering in our state’s Constitution and has definitely been an uphill struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with other obstacles.”
Supporters of the petition last week reported that they were nearing the minimum number of signatures needed, expressing hope that they would gather enough over the weekend.
Currier indicated that the petition fell short prior to being turned in to state election officials for verification, with the total falling under the 280,050 minimum. Conceivably, the verification process would have found additional signatures to be unverifiable — which is generally the case for any petition.
“Because, under state law, prior to the submission of any petition signatures, I, as chief petitioner, must first attest to having the minimum number of qualified signatures. Therefore, the signatures cannot be submitted to the secretary of state’s election division,” said Currier.
Currier said that the cancelation of Oregon's state and county fairs and other festivals impacted the petition's ability to gather signatures, also citing "an arbitrary and cynical change" to the ability to download and print petition sheets, and a rules change that required the petition sheets to be re-numbered.
In 2019, there were two separate efforts to recall Brown — one led by Currier, and another by Michael Cross. Both efforts failed to gather enough verified signatures.