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Same-Sex Marriage Backers Rely On Volunteers

OPB | Aug. 19, 2013 12:28 p.m. | Updated: Aug. 20, 2013 9:52 a.m. | Salem, Oregon

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OPB Staff

Backers of same-sex marriage are relying on a network of volunteers to gather enough signatures to put their issue onto the November, 2014 ballot.

Most initiative efforts use paid signature gatherers.

And without them, getting a measure onto the ballot is much tougher.

The Statesman Journal reports that about nine out of 10 volunteer-only petition drives since 1995 failed to gather enough valid signatures.

The “Oregon Says I Do” campaign says it has about 1,700 volunteers throughout the state.

The campaign needs to collect just shy of 117,000 valid signatures by July of 2014. to qualify for the ballot.

The campaign has already collected about 55,000  signatures in a three-week period.

The volunteer approach was used successfully by same-sex marriage opponents in 2004.

Back then, the Defense of Marriage Coalition collected 240,000 signatures in just five weeks by relying primarily on volunteers who passed petitions around their churches.

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