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: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5060048

Reported Deaths: 74129
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152429427102
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581500
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
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