Court Rejects Challenge to Oregon Partnership Law

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Oregon did not disenfranchise voters when it did not allow a same-sex partnership referendum on the ballot, the 9th Circuit ruled.

     Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury ruled that Referendum 303, which sought to overturn a 2007 bill establishing same-sex partnerships, did not have enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.
     A group of voters sued, claiming their equal protection and due process rights had been violated.
     Bradbury’s office chose a random sampling of signatures, and some of them did not match the election rolls. When the sampling was extrapolated, the total of valid signatures fell short of the total needed.
     Judge Goodwin agreed with the district court that Bradbury’s method did not violate the plaintiffs’ rights.
     “Oregon’s signature verification standards are uniform and specific enough to ensure equal treatment of voters,” Goodwin wrote.

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