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government | political theory selection 2004

APPEAL OF SECRETARY OF STATE'S UNLAWFUL REJECTION OF NADER PETITIONS

The link shows the documents filed this week.
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.
Meanwhile... 04.Sep.2004 12:33

not a hypocrat

In Alabama the democrat controlled state legislature has changed the law to allow George W. Bush to be on the ballot in that state.

Here too 04.Sep.2004 12:58

Travis

I was at the press conference with Bradbury on Wednesday and a reporter asked him if his office was acting in bias in making his decision to exclude Ralph from our ballot

He said that Bush was not going to be on the ballot if he hadn't brought it to the attention of the legislature that the Repub convention fell after the filing deadline and that they had better change the law in this case if they wanted Bush on the ballot.

This was his example of acting "non-partisan."

There are many states where this is the case.

Lawsuit aims to get Nader on the ballot 04.Sep.2004 13:33

The Associated Press

Statesman Journal
September 4, 2004
 http://news.statesmanjournal.com/article.cfm?i=86185


Backers of independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader launched a last-ditch effort to put him on the Oregon ballot in the Nov. 2 election.

Portland attorney Greg Kafoury, a leader of Nader's Oregon campaign, filed a lawsuit Friday asking a Marion County court to overturn Secretary of State Bill Bradbury's disqualification of Nader.

The lawsuit seeks an expedited hearing because Bradbury by law has a Wednesday deadline for certifying which presidential contenders will be on Oregon's ballot.

Courts are closed until Tuesday because of Labor Day.

Bradbury said this week that irregularities on petition sheets caused Nader to fall about 200 signatures short of the 15,305 needed to put the longtime consumer activist on the ballot.

The lawsuit claims that Bradbury acted unconstitutionally in using overly restrictive petition-sheet numbering rules and other regulations to deny Nader a ballot spot.

Nader backers accuse Bradbury, a Democrat, of joining his party's effort to block ballot access for Nader. They say the Democrats are concerned that Nader will draw votes from their candidate, John Kerry.

Bradbury said Nader supporters submitted more than 18,000 signatures, but state law forbids counting any signatures on invalid petitions.

The lawsuit argues that Bradbury's action caused petition signers and circulators to suffer the "immediate and irreparable harm" of losing their right to free speech and to petition the government.

In 2000, Nader drew big crowds in Oregon and garnered 5 percent of the state's presidential vote.

This year, he failed at two conventions in Portland to get the needed 1,000 voter signatures to qualify for the ballot before turning to the statewide petitioning effort.

Nader is having mixed success in getting on ballots around the country. Democrats have blocked his way in several states with legal challenges.

He is on the ballot in 15 states and Washington, D.C. and also can appear on at least five other ballots because of his Reform Party endorsement. He has also turned in petitions to be on the ballot in at least 15 other states.


Learn to read the law 04.Sep.2004 15:35

anonymous

Perhaps before you call Bradbury's actions unlawful, you should read the relevant part of the ORS regarding petitions:

The secretary of state shall, by rule, "prescribe a system for numbering all signature sheets of nominating or recall petitions."

Before submitting signature sheets to county elections officials, the chief sponsor must "sequentially number each signature sheet in the space provided."

"No signature in violation of the provisions of chapter shall be counted."

Seems pretty cut and dry to me. Further, why did Nader have such a tough time coming up with 15,000 signatures? The folks with Yes on 36 managed to get hundreds of thousands of signatures. Hm...perhaps it's because most of the real Nader supporters in Oregon won't stoop to fraud to get him on the ballot, and perhaps because the circulators of the petitions were by and large Republicans?

If Kafoury had actually had the balls to say that yes, fraud appeared to be occurring and yes, Nader denounces it, Nader would have gained a great deal of stature in my eyes. As it stands, it's very clear that supporting Nader is the equivalent of supporting Bush.

And maybe you should read the article 04.Sep.2004 16:03

reader

" Before submitting signature sheets to county elections officials, the chief sponsor must "sequentially number each signature sheet in the space provided."

From the above article:

"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.""

Please try not to obscure the situation with falsifications by ommission.

Republicans 04.Sep.2004 16:18

George Bender

"the circulators of the petitions were by and large Republicans?"

And the evidence to support this lie is what?


OPB News

Nader Backers Challenge Secretary of State Bradbury


By Colin Fogarty

PORTLAND, OR 2004-09-02 Backers of Ralph Nader are challenging Secretary of State Bill Bradbury in court over his decision to exclude the consumer advocate from Oregon's ballot this November.

Nader supporters say they turned in more than 17,000 valid signatures, two thousand more than needed to qualify. But the state elections division said the Nader campaign incorrectly numbered many petition sheets, disqualifying the signatures on them.

As a result, Nader fell 218 signatures short.

Attorney Dan Meek is suing Secretary of State Bill Bradbury in a Marion County court, saying the decision invalidates the signatures of thousands of voters.

Dan Meek: "And the Secretary of State says, 'Oh, woops! You submitted some sheets from the counties that weren't sequentially numbered.' Well that's right, because that's what you told us to do."

The state elections division flatly denies officials there gave the Nader campaign bogus advice. A spokeswoman for Bradbury says the Secretary of State was simply following the law.


And maybe, anonymous, you should also stop worrying about "balls" and "stature" 04.Sep.2004 16:28

IMPEACH BUSH NOW!

and other macho Ahhrnie-voter type things and start worrying about more "girly-man" things like actually reading and filing away in your mind the scattered reports and details of our declining democracy, and when you start connecting the dots and seeing the picture Nader is trying to show us, starting to work hard against the creepy corporate takeover of our election process via BOTH the Democrat and Republican Parties.

anonymous, you say: "If Kafoury had actually had the balls to say that yes, fraud appeared to be occurring and yes, Nader denounces it, Nader would have gained a great deal of stature in my eyes."

Well, Kafoury did say yes, that fraud DID occur, by six hired petition gatherers TRYING TO DEFRAUD THE NADER CAMPAIGN by falsifying signatures, and that all six were found out and summarily fired weeks before the allegations were even made by the democracy-hating SEIU lawyers:

"The Oregonian
Letters to the Editor
Tuesday, August 24, 2004

A 'preposterous allegation'

If The Oregonian hired an accounting firm, and one of the firm's employees stole money from you, would you say that reflected a lack of integrity on the part of The Oregonian?

While the leaders of the Nader campaign and many of its workers are volunteers, we do employ professional signature-gathering firms as independent contractors. They then contract with people who apply to work.

Apparently, six out of the hundreds of paid signature gatherers cheated our campaign by submitting phony signatures. All of them were fired weeks ago. ..."
 http://www.oregonlive.com/letters/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/editorial/109334861612430.xml

Falsehoods 04.Sep.2004 18:36

Travis

#1 it is not LAW that calls for numbering, but an internal rule. Bradbury admits that this little rule has never been used to disqualify a petitioner.

#2 Read the suit and you'll see exactly why they HAD to submited without numbers. The campaign was TOLd to do this by the SOS office.

#3 Republican orgs had nothing to do with this campaign. Many Repubs have signed the petition because they don't like either choice. They don't change party's at the drop of a hat. Remember that 25% of Ralphs VOTES in 2000 came from repubs.

Wake up

this is it! 06.Sep.2004 09:47

imperialism sucks

these sorts of dirty, anti-democratic tactics are convincing me that I will never be able to vote democrat AT ANY LEVEL. the party is corrupt to the core. how can I vote for any member of this corrupted party, when they are attacking me and my rights as a voter? no way. I couldn't be more irate at the democratic party, after stacking the convention and now these shenanigans by the secretary of state to top it off. just disgusting! democrats would be wise to insist that the democratic party cease and desist and DENOUNCE these sorts of totalitarian-spirited tactics IMMEDIATELY, or (should other nader supporter be as angry as I) they will begin to lose support at ALL levels, not just the presidential one. no way in hell that I'll vote for the "do ANYTHING (even illegal) but earn votes through issues and representation" Democratic party...