July 2, 2020
Norman Turrill, (503) 386-7996
SALEM, Ore—On Tuesday, June 30, 2020, the coalition People Not Politicians campaign filed suit to ensure that all of the signatures gathered to qualify its redistricting reform initiative for the November 2020 ballot would count.
“People Not Politicians is committed to ensuring that redistricting reform happens before Oregon draws new maps in 2021. We forged ahead with signature collection, bringing in tens of thousands of new petition in just 32 days. We filed a lawsuit asking the Court to take into account the extreme and unprecedented circumstances of a global pandemic that have impacted the signature gathering process in Oregon,” said Norman Turrill, Chief Petitioner and Chair of the People Not Politicians campaign committee.
Currently, Oregon requires a petition that garners the signatures of eight percent of the total number of votes cast for Governor in the most recent election to successfully be placed on the ballot. In the 2020 election cycle, this amounts to 149,360 signatures that needs to be delivered to the Secretary of State by July 2, 2020.
Plaintiffs in the case – People Not Politicians, along with PNP Executive Committee members Common Cause, League of Women Voters of Oregon, the Eugene/Springfield NAACP, Independent Party of Oregon and IP 57 Chief Petitioner Norman Turrill – argue that these requirements effectively make it impossible to qualify for the November 2020 ballot. They assert their right to access the ballot in under the protection of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
Building on the success of cases in Nevada, where a federal court granted an extension of the signature submission deadline, and in Michigan, where a federal court granted a reduction in the signature threshold, and similar cases in other states, People Not Politicians OR v. Clarno seeks the same relief from a federal district court in Oregon.
The plaintiffs filed the complaint and motion for a temporary restraining order enjoining the enforcement of the signature requirement and submission deadline of July 2, 2020.