Oregon Republicans Claim Partisan Discrimination

The Oregon Republican Party’s statement is set to be excluded from the voter pamphlet for the Nov. 3 election after the Secretary of State’s Office received the statement past the filing deadline. Now, the Oregon GOP is filing a complaint.   

On Sept. 3, the Oregon Republican party filed the complaint in Marion County Court. According to the Statesman Journal, the GOP’s statement had to be submitted by 5:00:00 p.m. on Aug. 25 to be considered timely; Oregon GOP Chairman Bill Currier said he signed into the filing system at 4:52 p.m. on Aug. 25 and checked out no later than 4:59 p.m.   

The Oregon Secretary of State’s Office, led by Republican Bev Clarno, maintains that the statement was received at 5:00:29 p.m.  

According to the Statesman Journal, Currier said the statement’s delay was the result of troubles with system access and payment processing glitches in the Election Division’s ORESTAR system, and that the blocking of the statement from the voter pamphlet is a civil rights violation.   

“We can prove that it was submitted correctly and are taking legal action to challenge and obtain a reversal of this horrible decision by the Elections Division,” Currier said to the Statesman Journal. “The voters of Oregon are entitled to fair and impartial administration of our election system. Excluding the Republican voters’ pamphlet statement reeks of partisan discrimination.”  

On the other hand, Oregon Secretary of State spokesperson Laura Fosmire noted that “there are no problems or glitches with the ORESTAR system,” and that the office “simply received the statement after the filing deadline.”  

Oregon’s Democratic Party filed their statement on Aug. 24, according to the Statesman Journal.   

“That the GOP was unable to follow the rules and is now crying foul is ridiculous,” Democratic Party of Oregon Deputy Director Molly Woon said.“And their accusations of partisanship are laughable.”  

Currier and other GOP officials hope to reverse the Secretary of State’s decision so the Republican statement can be present in the upcoming voter pamphlet.   

“If this decision is not reversed, the exclusion of the Oregon Republican Party statement would amount to unequal, arbitrary, and capricious treatment of Oregon Republicans by a state agency,” Currier said. “This treatment directly harms the public interest and violates their civil rights. It is the selective silencing of certain voices.” 

By Jada Krening