July 26th, 2010 5:33 pm | by HANK STERN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics

State Says Redistricting Initiative Doesn't Qualify For Ballot

Oregon legislative map

An initiative that would ask voters this November to change the way Oregon conducts redistricting each decade has failed to turn in enough valid signatures, the Secretary of State's office said today.

But that doesn't close the matter since Kevin Mannix and other backers of the proposed amendment to the state Constitution are suing to challenge the state's invalidation of signatures. The proposed amendment would take away redistricting of legislative boundary lines from the Legislature and the Secretary of State's office and give it to a group of retired judges. Proponents say that change would de-politicize the process.

The office of Secretary of State Kate Brown said 91,617 of the 114,973 signatures accepted for verification were determined to be valid—about 79.7 percent. A proposed constitutional amendment requires 110,358 valid signatures to qualify for the Nov. 2 ballot.

Two of the six initiative petitions submitted this year have turned in enough valid signatures. One of those would allow a system of medical marijuana dispensaries. The other, a Mannix measure, would impose mandatory minimum sentences for certain major felony sex crimes and driving under the influence convictions.

Still awaiting signature verification results this week are two measures that would create a non-tribal casino at the former dog track in east Multnomah County. Also awaiting verification is an initiative that would set aside permanently a share of Oregon Lottery funds for parks and habitat.
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