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Judge Rejects Oregon Redistricting Petition Lawsuit

A last-ditch effort to get a redistricting initiative on the Oregon ballot has come up short. A judge in Salem ruled Tuesday that petitioners didn’t make a strong enough case. They were trying to overturn the Secretary of State’s decision to keep the measure off the ballot.

A conservative group led by former Republican lawmaker Kevin Mannix sued after state elections workers threw out more than 10,000 signatures for technical reasons.

But the judge declined to reinstate those signatures.

Marion County Circuit Court Judge Mary James said in a written statement that even if all of the signatures in question were counted the petition would still not qualify for the ballot.

And she said the Secretary of State has broad authority over the signature verification process.

It’s the latest in a long line of attempts to overturn initiative rulings from the Secretary of State and in fact it may not be the only legal challenge this year.

Backers of a rejected casino constitutional amendment say they may sue as well.

But Judge James said cases establishing the Secretary of State’s signature counting authority go back to at least 1924.

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