January 18th, 2013 10:50 am | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: City Hall, Politics

Elections Division Clears Hales on Elections Complaint

news2_hales_3851Mayor Charlie Hales - IMAGE: Peter Hiatt

The secretary of state's elections division has dismissed a complaint against Portland Mayor Charlie Hales.

The complaint, filed by Seth Woolley, a two-time Pacific Green Party secretary of state candidate, took issue with Hales' having claimed Washington residence for tax purposes while continuing to vote in Oregon. As WW first reported, Hales lived in Washington from 2004 though 2009 while voting here.

In his complaint, Woolley said since Hales lived in Washington in 2008 when he last registered to vote in Oregon, that registration was invalid and so, therefore, was Hales' filing as a candidate for mayor.

But in letter (PDF) dated Jan. 16, Director of Elections Steve Trout disagreed.

"The Elections Division concludes that there is insufficient evidence to indicate that Mr. Hales violated election law in this instance. Multnomah County made the determination that Mr. Hales' residence for voting purposes is sufficient. We do not have jurisdiction over the Portland City Code provision.

Not finding a violation of election law, the Elections Division determines this case is closed and does not intend to pursue this matter further."

Woolley says he is unsatisfied by Trout's letter plans to appeal the decision. The venue for elections appeals is Marion County Court.

"The election letter didn’t really explain much," Woolley says. "They were confident in the process but didn’t explain why and they said they didn’t have jurisdiction but didn’t explain."

Hales' spokesman Dana Haynes says since the complaint is an elections issue, rather than a governance issue, he will let Trout's ruling speak for itself.
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