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Oregon anti-gerrymandering initiative given extended deadline for signatures

A federal judge and Oregon's Secretary of State have cleared the way for the 'People Not Politicians' petition to continue gathering signatures.

Posted: Jul 15, 2020 12:16 PM

SALEM, Ore. — An Oregon initiative petition aimed at creating a bipartisan redistricting process is one step closer to appearing on statewide ballots following a ruling in federal court and the blessing of Secretary of State Bev Clarno.

Initiative Petition 57, dubbed People Not Politicians, would amend the state constitution to create a redistricting commission consisting of equal representation from Democrats, Republicans, and other political perspectives — drawn from citizen applicants, not lawmakers.

"Major donors to political candidates or parties would not be eligible," supporters said in a statement. "Neither would elected officials, political party officials or their family members. Commissioners would be selected to represent the broad diversity of Oregonians."

The goal of the petition is to prevent the drawing of legislative districts along partisan lines, a process known as "gerrymandering" that has resulted in several high-profile court cases in other states.

With a growing population, Oregon is expected to see some changes to existing districts — possibly a new U.S. Congressional District — following results from the 2020 Census.

The chief petitioners of People Not Politicians filed suit in federal court in order to extend the deadline to gather signatures and reduce the minimum needed, citing the impacts of coronavirus precautions and restrictions.

Judge Michael McShane granted that relief, ordering Secretary of State Bev Clarno to either accept the signatures already gathered, or accept a reduced number of signatures and extend the deadline until August 17.

Clarno announced in a statement on Tuesday night that she would allow the petitioners to continue gathering signatures until the new deadline, declining to appeal the decision.

“As Oregon’s chief elections officer, I am deeply committed to expanding voter access and ensuring the integrity of Oregon’s elections,” said Secretary Clarno. “I and our Elections Division team will remain focused on the smooth administration of our election processes.”

The new threshold of verified signatures for IP 57 is 58,789, and supporters say they have already submitted more than 64,000 signatures.

"While we are confident in the validity of the signatures we submitted, we know there are tens of thousands of Oregon voters eager for their signature to count," said chief petitioner Norman Turrill. "We will continue to collect signatures to ensure Oregon voters have a chance to bring the redistricting reform we need to end gerrymandering in Oregon once and for all.”

Clarno's office underlined that the District Court ruling applies only to IP 57, and not to other initiatives without a separate court order. On Tuesday, supporters of a county-level initiative to join eastern and southern Oregon with the state of Idaho said that they had filed a similar federal suit for relief, citing the IP 57 decision as precedent.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 156287

Reported Deaths: 2252
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31935542
Washington21311212
Marion18541285
Clackamas13426183
Lane10325129
Jackson8489114
Umatilla767882
Deschutes597561
Yamhill379168
Linn360157
Malheur335358
Polk307343
Klamath279855
Douglas252755
Josephine236553
Benton234817
Jefferson196628
Coos152420
Union129519
Columbia127421
Wasco122126
Lincoln113620
Hood River106929
Morrow104914
Clatsop7776
Crook77618
Baker6639
Curry4296
Tillamook4212
Lake3786
Harney2776
Grant2251
Wallowa1425
Gilliam541
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3582320

Reported Deaths: 53083
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119601721676
Riverside2904983849
San Bernardino2870552959
Orange2617983966
San Diego2613533342
Santa Clara1110761798
Kern103756915
Fresno957851451
Sacramento937901498
Alameda809501271
Ventura77952870
San Joaquin671231150
Contra Costa62931695
Stanislaus56433953
Tulare48114768
Monterey42335329
San Mateo39148521
San Francisco34387422
Santa Barbara32147420
Solano30216165
Merced29264407
Sonoma28261301
Imperial26926638
Kings22091220
Placer19911232
San Luis Obispo19751238
Madera15523214
Santa Cruz14736183
Marin13285198
Yolo12867185
Shasta11054179
Butte11007167
El Dorado9195100
Napa908072
Sutter889998
Yuba577638
San Benito577061
Lassen562324
Tehama510452
Nevada398874
Tuolumne396659
Mendocino382643
Amador347441
Humboldt323033
Lake316941
Glenn223223
Colusa214013
Calaveras191849
Siskiyou178414
Inyo132137
Mono12144
Del Norte10085
Plumas6536
Modoc4604
Mariposa3957
Trinity3735
Sierra1000
Alpine820
Unassigned00
Medford
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