Judge Allows Oregon GOP Statement in Voter Guide

BY IVAN PENTCHOUKOV September 16, 2020 Updated: September 16, 2020

An Oregon judge ruled on Monday that a statement from the state’s Republican party should be allowed to appear in the voter guide.

Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno previously blocked the statement from appearing in the guide, claiming that the Republicans submitted it 29 seconds too late.

Marion County Judge Channing Bennett ruled that the Republican chairman Bill Currier completed his portion of the work before the 5 p.m. deadline, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB).

Clarno said she would allow the statement but appeal the ruling to get full legal clarity about the deadline.

“I still believe 5 p.m. is 5 p.m,” she said in a statement to OPB, adding that there should be a “bright line for filing requirements going forward.”

Republicans filed a lawsuit in Marion County shortly after Clarno blocked the statement from appearing in the guide. Oregon state GOPcommunications director Kevin Hoar insisted at the time that the Republicans filed the statement at 4:59 p.m. on Aug. 25, before the deadline.

“We can’t quite explain the interpretation and decision here,” Hoar said.

State Republican Chairman Bill Currier said the move to bar the statement “reeks of partisan discrimination.”

“If a bureaucrat in some decision-making role simply didn’t like what our statement said, this doesn’t give them the right to silence us,” Currier said.

The statement submitted by the Republican Party was headlined “Had enough? Vote Republican!”

It denounced Democratic leadership in Oregon on issues ranging from “unrestrained rioting” in Portland to mismanagement of the pandemic resulting in “catastrophic small business losses.”

Hoar also said that Currier was locked out of the online filing system for several hours, delaying the party’s ability to file its statement.

Laura Fosmire, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Bev Clarno, said in a statement there were “no problems or glitches” with the online reporting system.

“We simply received the statement after the filing deadline,” she said.

The Democratic Party of Oregon and six other political parties are included in the voters’ pamphlet for the Nov. 3 election.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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