Date: August 30, 2004
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Nader Campaign Calls on Secretary of State to "Respect Each Signature"
Last Tuesday, August 24th, the Nader Campaign submitted more than 18,100 signatures, each of which had been individually validated by County Elections officials. This process included confirming that the signor was currently registered to vote in that county, and comparing the actual signature on the sheet to the original signature of that voter as displayed on a computer screen. Voters were weeded out who had moved or had not voted for a period of time, also not counted were those who were properly registered, but in a different county.
The verified signatures came from over 28,000 signatures actually submitted by the campaign. The verification numbers were consistent with those of other political campaigns.
Now the Secretary of State is being pressured by politically inspired groups to strike whole categories of signatures based on matters that have nothing whatsoever to do with the validity of the signatures themselves. These include such administrative technicalities as whether petition sheets were numbered by the counties or by the Nader Campaign, the failure of a circulator to include the year when writing the date of his signature (even though all signatures were obvious this year), or where the signature gatherer wrote two dates, one indicating the date that he began circulating for signatures, and the other indicating the day the person stopped circulating.
"Those seeking to prevent Oregon voters from having an opportunity to vote for Nader this fall have now been reduced to complaining about the most trivial administrative matters in order to pressure the Secretary to strike entire sheets of signatures when the signatures themselves have already been established as valid. We urge the secretary to uphold the integrity of Oregon's election by honoring the signatures which have already been established as valid, and urge him to reject the political pressure of those who seek nothing but to limit the choices of Oregon's voters," said Greg Kafoury, a spokesman for the campaign.
The same people seeking to discard these signature had their representative observing the validation process in the tri-county area, and they had an opportunity to object to signatures that they thought should not have been verified. Further, the Secretary of State's office ordered the removal of signature sheets at the county elections for any number of administrative considerations, and this meant that the sheets were no longer consecutively numbered. Based on advice from the Secretary of State, the Nader Campaign submitted sheets which did not have numbers, so that these sheets could later be inserted into the sequence in order to restore consecutive numbering. Now this process which was already approved faces complaint by those who have no valid basis to complain about anything.