A statement from the Oregon Republican Party won’t appear in the state voters’ guide mailed out for November’s election because it arrived 29 seconds late to the online reporting system, officials told the Associated Press.
What are the details?
The statement was headlined “Had enough? Vote Republican!” and attacked Democratic leadership in Oregon over issues ranging from “Unrestrained rioting” in Portland to coronavirus mismanagement resulting in “catastrophic small business losses,” the AP said.
Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that Kevin Hoar, communications director for the state GOP, said his party did get the statement into an online filing system by 4:59 p.m. Aug. 25, the final day for filing, the outlet said.
Hoar also said state Republican chairman Bill Currier was locked out of the online filing system for several hours, which delayed the GOP’s ability to file its statement, the AP said.
But Laura Fosmire, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Bev Clarno, said deadlines apply equally to everyone, the outlet noted.
“Anyone wishing to submit information to the Voters’ Pamphlet has several weeks to do so, and we recommend avoiding waiting until the last minute for this reason,” she said in a statement, according to the AP.
But Currier told the outlet that not including the GOP’s statement in the voting guide “reeks of partisan discrimination.”
“If a bureaucrat in some decision-making role simply didn’t like what our statement said, this doesn’t give them the right to silence us,” he added to the AP.
However, Fosmire told the outlet there were “no problems or glitches” with the online reporting system: “[W]e simply received the statement after the filing deadline.”
Hoar added to the AP that a lawsuit was filed demanding the statement’s inclusion before the voters’ guide goes to print later this month.
“We can’t quite explain the interpretation and decision here” by state elections officials, Hoar told the outlet.
The Democratic Party of Oregon and six other political parties are included in the voters’ pamphlet for the Nov. 3 election, the AP said.
Oregon secretary of state is a Republican
As it turns out, Oregon Secretary of State Clarno is the only Republican in statewide office, the outlet said. Clarno, a former Oregon House speaker, was appointed by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown to serve the rest of the Dennis Richardson’s term after he died in 2019, the AP said.
How did Democrats react?
“That the GOP wasn’t able to follow the rules and is now crying foul is ridiculous,” the Oregon Democratic Party said in response to the Republican reaction, according to a news video from KGW-TV. “And their accusations of partisanship are laughable. … The Oregon GOP messed up. Instead of accepting the consequences that come with procrastinating until the absolute last minute, they’re throwing a fit.”
The Democrats also noted that “for a political party that touts ‘personal responsibility’ and following the the letter of the law, the Republicans are having an awfully hard time owning up to their own mistake,” the station added.
The curious case of Kanye West
In a similar matter, headline-grabbing hip-hop artist Kanye West won’t be on the ballot for November’s presidential election in Wisconsin after his election lawyer submitted signatures just a couple of minutes too late last month.
West’s legal team tried to argue that the signatures were turned in before 5:01 p.m., which means they technically met the 5 p.m. deadline — but the elections commission rejected that argument in a 5-1 vote. Milwaukee Republican Robert Spindell was the only commissioner to argue that West should still be on the ballot.
“Mr. West is an African American candidate,” Spindell said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “And I think we should do all we can to — after the terrible treatment that the black population in Milwaukee received during the April election — that we give them a choice.” Spindell accused Democrats of attempting to suppress the black vote.
West is generally considered a candidate who could take votes — especially black votes — away from Democratic nominee Joe Biden. But polling indicates that even if he did get on ballots, his presence wouldn’t make much of a dent.