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Backers of Ore. redistricting measure gain more time to gather petition signatures

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SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Backers of a proposed fall ballot measure to take legislative redistricting out of lawmakers' hands and create an independent commission have won more time to gather signatures, thanks to a federal judge's ruling.

Here's a news release from Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno, issued Tuesday evening:

Secretary of State Bev Clarno Announces Extension of Signature Gathering for Initiative Petition 57
SALEM, OR — In light of the recent opinion and order from U.S. District Judge Michael McShane, Secretary of State Bev Clarno has announced she will continue to accept signatures from Chief Petitioners for Initiative Petition 57.

IP 57 is seeking to place an initiative on the November 2020 ballot that would amend the Oregon Constitution to create an independent redistricting commission.

Per the court order, IP 57 will have a reduced signature threshold and an extension until August 17. The Secretary of State Elections Division will review and certify signatures for IP 57 through its normal process.

Secretary Clarno is not requesting an appeal to the ruling at this time. This ruling applies only to IP 57 and does not extend to other signature petition efforts without a separate court order.

“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.”

News release from People Not Politicians, IP 57's backers:

People Not Politicians applaud Secretary of State Bev Clarno’s decision to allow Oregonians extended time to sign petitions to end gerrymandering

SALEM —  The People Not Politicians campaign provided the following statement on the Secretary of State’s decision released this evening:

“We are grateful the Secretary of State recognized the importance of the democratic process and the significant impacts of the pandemic on Oregonians’ ability to participate in this process,” said Norman Turrill, chair of People Not Politicians and Chief Petitioner of IP 57.

“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. 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.”

Secretary Clarno released her decision in response to a preliminary order issued by Judge Michael J. McShane on July 10 to grant People Not Politicians, a broad and diverse coalition that has come together to create an independent citizens commission for Oregon, relief to qualify its redistricting reform initiative for the November 2020 election.

The judge’s order allowed the Secretary of State to decide by 5:00 pm Monday, July 13, 2020 to either accept People Not Politician’s signatures as submitted, or accept a reduced number of signatures to 58,789 and allow additional time to gather until August 17, 2020. The campaign submitted over 64,000 signatures on July 2.

Initiative Petition 57, filed in November 2019, would create the Oregon Citizens Redistricting Commission and put redistricting in the hands of voters, not our politicians.

The commission would consist of 12 Oregonians who applied and were selected from qualified applicants – four from the first largest political party, four from the second largest political party, and four others who are third party members or non-affiliated.

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

The initiative campaign coalition has been led by the League of Women Voters of Oregon, Common Cause Oregon, Oregon Farm Bureau, the Independent Party of Oregon, NAACP Eugene/Springfield Branch, OSPIRG, Oregon’s Progressive Party, and tens of thousands of Oregonians who support the effort to remove conflicts of interest from drawing of voter lines.

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