Seth Woolley, a Green Party activist and two-time candidate for Secretary of State, has filed suit (PDF) in Marion County Court against Secretary of State Kate Brown alleging that the elections division, which Brown controls, failed to properly investigate an earlier elections complaint Woolley filed against then-mayoral candidate Charlie Hales.
Woolley had maintained that Hales was not a legally registered Oregon voter when he filed to run for Portland mayor and therefore his candidacy was invalid.
As WW first reported, after leaving city council in 2002, Hales subsequently moved to Washington, where he established residency and took advantage of Washington's not having an income tax. He nonetheless continued to vote in Oregon—a right given only to permanent residents—even after declaring permanent residence in Washington. In an elections complaint, Woolley argued Hales could not simultaneously claim to reside in both states.
Hales won election last November and the elections division dismissed Woolley's complaint earlier this year.
Woolley is now contesting that dismissal.
"The Secretary of State is required to investigate all complaints," Woolley says. "The response I got made it clear no real investigation took place."
Hales has repeatedly said Woolley's argument lacks merit. Brown's spokesman, Tony Green, said he had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment.