Republicans say they met deadline, are being silenced: 'We've had enough'
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ)-- The Oregon Republican Party has filed a complaint against Oregon's secretary of state after her office rejected the party's Voter Pamphlet statement for the Nov.3 election -- missing the filing deadline by just 29 seconds.
The Secretary of State's Office said the GOP missed the 5 p.m. Aug. 25 statement filing deadline by 29 seconds. Now the party says it's being silenced.
The Voter Pamphlet statement would've reached all Oregon voters and informs them on the party's top issues, concerns and candidates for the Nov. 3 election.
Kevin Hoar, the party's communications director, said Friday that state party Chairman Bill Currier submitted the Voter Pamphlet statement before the deadline, but was actually unable to get into the online system earlier in the afternoon.
He said Currier had to contact the secretary of state's office to get the account for the state party working properly. After three attempts, Currier said, was able to enter the party statement and make a payment. He said it was processed at 4:59 p.m.
Six days later, the party was informed their submission was rejected.
"The law says — the ORS statute that applies here says not later than 5 p.m. on the specified day," Hoar said. "Well, if I tell you that you have to provide something no later than seven days, that includes the seventh day. Well actually, our understanding of the law, it includes 5 p.m., up to 5 o'clock and 59 seconds."
Hoar said regardless of when the secretary of state's office received their credit card confirmation, it should not affect the party's submission.
A spokeswoman for the secretary of state's office said the transaction date and time must be prior to 5 p.m. to be considered timely, and said their electronic confirmation shows 5 o'clock and 29 seconds.
Hoar said they are taking the matter to court, though a hearing date is not yet scheduled. The Oregon Voter Pamphlets are scheduled to be printed next Friday.
Here's the Oregon Republican Party's news release on the matter:
Oregon GOP State Party Chairman Files Complaint over Blocking of Voter Pamphlet Statement
Currier says “No one has the right to silence us and violate our civil rights. We’ve had enough.”
Salem, OR – The Oregon Republican Party released the following statement:
“Today, I am filing on behalf of myself and over 700,000 Oregon Republicans a complaint demanding that the state party statement be included in the voter pamphlet sent to all Oregon voters, just like it is for all other Oregon political parties,” stated Chairman Bill Currier.
“Our statement was submitted correctly to the Secretary of State and confirmed as received on the deadline date of Tuesday, August 25th, despite system access and payment processing glitches with the Election Division’s ORESTAR online filing system that day,’” added Currier. “However, we were informed a week later that our voter pamphlet statement had been rejected.”
“We can prove that it was submitted correctly and are taking legal action to challenge and obtain a reversal of this horrible decision by the Elections Division,” said Currier. “The voters of Oregon are entitled to fair and impartial administration of our election system. Excluding the Republican voters pamphlet statement reeks of partisan discrimination.”
“We question the inexplicable delay in informing us of this rejection and are deeply concerned about the motivation and intent of depriving voters of this information for such a momentous election,” stated the Oregon Republican Chairman. “If a bureaucrat in some decision-making role simply didn’t like what our statement said, this doesn’t give them the right to silence us.” (The full text of the statement is here)
“During 2020 our state government has inflicted one flawed bureaucratic computer system after another on its citizens, such as the hundreds of thousands of unemployed Oregonian waiting for government assistance. Our state government needs to take responsibility for and stop blaming our state's citizens for system failures, especially when they no longer provide these services in-person. To hold fair elections, it must include our election system.”
“If this decision is not reversed, the exclusion of the Oregon Republican Party statement would amount to unequal, arbitrary, and capricious treatment of Oregon Republicans by a state agency. This treatment directly harms the public interest and violates their civil rights. It is the selective silencing of certain voices.”
“Had enough of being silenced?” asked Currier. “Your voice, the voice of the people, must be heard now.”
For Oregon voters wishing to respectfully insist that their civil right to equal treatment under the Oregon Constitution be upheld by inclusion of the Oregon Republican Party statement in the Voter Pamphlet received by all Oregon Voters, please contact the following: