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Sat Jan 6, 2018, 10:34 PM

Union-backed group sues Dennis Richardson over election rule change

Our Oregon, a liberal political group funded by public employee unions, filed suit Thursday on behalf of a Multnomah County voter against Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson in an attempt to halt changes to ballot measure rules Richardson approved earlier this week.

The crux of the suit is that Richardson's rule changes are unconstitutional and violate state law. The suit, filed in Marion County Circuit Court on behalf of voter Christine Mason, also alleges the rule changes "serve to undermine the peoples' power to initiate and refer measures."

The new rules, which took effect Tuesday, allow backers of a proposed ballot measure to gather signatures using a short summary written by Oregon's attorney general -- even during the period when that summary is under appeal at the Oregon Supreme Court.

Richardson, Oregon's first Republican secretary of state in 30 years, rebuffed the suit's claims in a tersely-worded newsletter sent Thursday night from his government email account. He cast the lawsuit as an effort by "wealthy special interest groups" to hamper voters' rights.

Read more: http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/01/post_199.html

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