OREGON VOTERS AND PETITIONERS FILE APPEAL OF
SECRETARY OF STATE'S UNLAWFUL REJECTION
OF NADER PETITIONS
A group of Oregon voters and petitioners for Ralph Nader's appearance on the Oregon ballot today appealed to the Circuit Court for Marion County the Secretary of State's unlawful rejection of over 3,000 signatures on the Nader petitions, even though the validity of those signatures was fully verified by the county election offices.
The appeal is available at http://www.oreg.org/nader
Having rejected some 3,000 signatures, Secretary of State Bradbury concluded that the Nader campaign had fallen short of the 15,306 signatures required by only 218. But all of the rejections were unlawful. The largest category was the 2,354 signatures on sheets which the Secretary of State claimed were not consecutively numbered by county when turned into his office. But there is no such legal requirement. Further, the Nader Campaign did submit the sheets to the county election offices in sequential order (as required by rule), until in the middle of August the Secretary of State's office directed the counties to remove hundreds of sheets from those sequences (thus destroying their consecutivity) and advised the Nader Campaign to submit blank sheets to the counties to "fill in the gaps." The Nader Campaign followed the directions and advice of the Secretary of State, who now is using Nader's compliance with his own directions in an unprecedented attempt to deny him appearance on the ballot.
In every election cycle, hundreds of signature sheets are submitted to the Secretary of State that are not numbered in consecutive order by county. The Secretary has never before rejected any of those sheets on that basis. "There is absolutely no legal precedent for this unlawful conduct," said Greg Kafoury, director of the Nader campaign in Oregon. "Bradbury had to invent a series of new unwritten rules, never before applied or even imagined, in his desperate attempt to disenfranchise Oregon voters by keeping Nader off the ballot."
The Secretary's unstated rationale for rejecting about 700 signatures is that he did not like the look of the circulator's signature, even though those signatures are perfectly legal under all of Oregon's applicable statutes and rules. The legality of the signatures is demonstrated by the Memorandum in Support of Injunctive Relief, also available at the internet address provided above.