Salem, OR—The Oregon House Rules Committee is expected to vote soon on an amendment to institute a special election next January. This special election will waste millions of Oregon tax payer dollars and will suppress voter turnout.
“As Oregon's chief elections officer, I am responsible for ensuring a fair election process and for encouraging maximum citizen participation in our democracy,” said Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. “I strongly believe that the A7 amendment to Senate Bill 229 should be rejected because it manipulates the election process and keeps voters in the dark. These political shenanigans are unacceptable.”
The Oregon Constitution gives the people of Oregon the right to overrule the legislature through the referendum process.This protection ensures accountability and safeguards fundamental rights."This amendment does just the opposite. It is a political ploy to undermine accountability by increasing power for politicians at the expense of the people,” Richardson added.
Key problems with this amendment include:
Suppresses Voter Turnout
A special election in January is expected to suppress voter turnout by approximately 14%, thereby excluding over 270,000 Oregonians from the political process.
Wastes Taxpayer Money
A special election in January will waste millions in taxpayer dollars that could have paid for more teachers or expanded voter access.
Disrupts the Holiday Season
A special election in January means that the holidays will be disrupted with robocalls, political telemarketers, nasty TV ads, and campaign junk mail. This will prevent Oregonians from enjoying the holidays in peace with friends and family.
Deceives the Voters
This amendment subverts the nonpartisan process for drafting a ballot title by injecting partisan politics and political bias into the process.
View a video statement made by Secretary Richardson here: https://youtu.be/6Uj-dRacwnw