Your Intrepid Reporter was vouchsafed a publication yesterday, by a source who prefers not to be named, in the parking lot of Grace Presbyterian Church, while the monthly meeting of the Eastside democratic [yes, small d] Club assembled.
The bulletin, printed on pink paper, styled itself Ballot Access News; a column on page two included the text:
On [4 November 2014] Oregon voters will vote on Measure 90, [a state initiative to put legislation in place] to implement a top-two election system in which all candidates run in the May primary on a single ballot, and then only the two candidates who place first or second can run in November.
On 20 August the Oregon Citizens Initiative Review voted 14-5 that Measure 90 should not pass.
The Citizens Initiative Review was implemented in 2011 by the Legislature. It sets up a procedure by which 5000 voters chosen at random are invited to attend a 3-day meeting on a particular initiative, to listen to proponents and opponents.
From the ranks of these 5000 voters who desire to do this 20 are chosen in another random procedure which is set up to guarantee that the final 20 will mirror the state in relation to age, sex, ethnic background, region, and income level.
The panel for Measure 90 met 17-20 August in Salem. Their identities are not revealed. The panel found some benefit in a top-two system, but felt the harm done outweighs the good.
The harm is that the voters have sharply reduced choice in November [elections]. The panel also cited the fact that if the measure passes, two particular ballot-qualified parties the Constitutional and the Progressive, will likely cease to be qualified, will likely cease to be qualified. Transcriber introduced iteration. because the state’s lenient vote test for party retention, a vote of one per cent for any statewide race, will no longer exist, because under top-two parties don’t have nominees. (The alternate [registration-based] test [for ballot qualification], one-half of one per cent, would still exist but those two parties do not meet that test.)
Proponents of Measure 90 have already raised over one million dollars, mostly from wealthy business interests.
Noonmeasure90.org is the web page for opponents.
There is a major talking point for our State Party’s campaign Against Ninety.
Michael Meo, secretary
Cascadia Chapter of the Pacific Green Party