January 8th, 2010 5:33 pm | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics

Oregon Secretary of State Wags Finger at Mark Nelson, Closes Measures 66/67 Case


Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown's elections office has completed its review of a complaint filed earlier this week against Mark Nelson, campaign manager for the opposition to Measures 66 and 67.

State elections compliance officer Carla Corbin wrote [PDF] to the complainant, Marge Easley, President of the League of Women Voters of Oregon, telling Easley that the mock ballots Nelson is sending out to 110,000 voters are, in effect, old news— although the timing of the mock ballot is of concern to elections officials. Corbin wrote,
After reviewing The Nelson Report imitation ballot mailing package we find that it is substantially similar to previous imitation ballots permitted by our office. Although, we have previously found that similar language on imitation ballots by Mr. Nelson and others may substantially comply with election law, the timing of this mailing, and the potential for voter confusion, make this a more serious case.

In a separate letter to Nelson, Corbin admonished [PDF] the veteran lobbyist and campaign manager to change his ways in the future but said nothing about discontinuing the practice for this election:
Sending out an imitation ballot so close to an election, and during the same time window that official ballots are being mailed, significantly increases the risk of voter confusion. We strongly encourage you to complete any future mailings with an imitation ballot not later than 45 days before an election.

Bottom line: Nelson is in the clear and is can continue sending out mock ballots ahead of the Jan. 26 election.
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