Eugene canvassers turn in the last batch of signatures for the 2020 STAR Voting for Eugene Campaign. Though the campaign in fact turned in more than the required number, a ruling that voters who were rejected in error would still not be counted caused STAR Voting to be denied ballot access.
STAR Eugene 2020 Initiative Lawsuit:
The STAR Voting for Eugene campaign turned in 10,406 signatures to qualify for the May 2020 ballot, but despite turning in well over the 8,091 signatures required, the 2019-1 petition was found to be short 111 signatures and was deemed "void." The verification process looked at a 20% sample of the signatures submitted, invalidated 22%, and determined that the fate of the petition accordingly. If only 23 of the signers who were rejected from the sample had been counted the petition would have qualified.
The STAR Voting for Eugene Campaign has three separate claims as to why the petition should have qualified for the ballot:
1.) 23 valid Eugene voters who were rejected from the 20% sample for "signature mismatch" promptly signed and submitted affidavits affirming that they had in fact signed the petition and verifying the authenticity of their signatures. Counting these would result in an additional 115 signatures being counted.
2.) 255 voters were unfairly disenfranchised and rejected due to having been listed as inactive. (See below for more information.)
3.) An "error report" was submitted documenting 34 signatures which were rejected for "signature mismatch" but which we analyzed and believe should have been counted. Correcting these verification errors would result in an additional 170 signatures being counted. The following is a breakdown of the errors discovered:
- 11 signatures are clearly matches and we could not identify a reason why the signature was rejected.
- One example is a signature for a woman who was recently married and signed with her new last name.
- One example is a signature for "Pat Ryan" which was rejected as not matching Patricia Ryan, but which does match her husband Charles Patrick Ryan. The two go by Pat and Patricia respectively.
- One example is a signer who printed her name in the signature field, but then initialed as well. Her signature on file is her initial.
- One example is a signature that was crossed off by the signer and should not have been counted at all but was erroneously rejected as illegible (which results in 4 other signatures being disqualified as well.)
- One example is a signer whose signature on file is sloppy and signed the petition with a somewhat neater version.
- One example has their signature on file in italic but signed the petition in cursive. The signatures clearly match.
- 8 signers either signed their signatures in the column for the printed name or their printed name, in fact, matched their signature on file. The campaign had confirmed in writing with the County Clerk that signers would not be rejected for these types of minor issues if the signature is on the sheet and verifiable, but these signers were rejected anyway.
On these grounds, the Equal Vote Coalition has filed a lawsuit calling for the petition to be certified. Plaintiffs include Mark Frohnmayer, one of the chief petitioners, Mark Osterloh, the top volunteer canvassers, and three of the signers whose signatures were erroneously rejected, Pat Ryan, Robert Selvan, and Erin Rappold. Defendants include Beth Forest in her official capacity as City of Eugene Recorder, and
Cheryl Betschart, in her official capacity as Lane County Clerk.
"Attached is an Oregon Court of Appeals opinion issued yesterday, [12/31/20] Whitehead v. Clarno. It decides that inactive registered voters can validly sign initiative petitions."
"The County Clerk disqualified from the 20% sample of STAR Voting signatures a total of 51 inactive registered voters. Considering them valid would increase the overall count by 255, more than enough--by itself--to make up the supposed shortfall of 111 signatures."
Do you like this page?