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Oregon Businesses Opposes Effort to Confuse Voter Referendums

June 26, 2009

Oregon voters, like legislators, should have the right to simply vote “yes” or “no”
By Alliance of Oregon’s Business Associations,

Each member of the Alliance supports Oregon’s Initiative and Referendum Process. While each of our organizations has won and lost our fair share of elections, we are steadfast in our belief that the check and balance provided through our initiative and referendum process should not be confused through legislative action.

House Bill 2414, as gut-and-stuffed, is an outright attempt to confuse the referendum process and we cannot support it. HB 2414 attempts to overturn Oregon’s longstanding election history and sew confusion for Oregonians voting on referrals.

Under the new language of the bill, referendum elections will have drastically different meanings at the ballot box. Under HB 2414, a YES vote will mean “No,” while a NO vote will mean “Yes.”

In other words, if you like what the legislature did on the issue being referred, you vote NO; if you don’t like it, you vote YES. If you want to adopt it, you reject it.

We suspect that the real aim of HB 2414 is to help steer the outcome of the pending referendum on the legislature’s tax increases. Otherwise, there would be no other reason to adopt such a mischievous bill that overturns both Oregon election history and elemental logic in one fell swoop without a single minute of public testimony or policy justification. The integrity of Oregon’s election process is at stake. HB 2414 is a cynical attempt to steer election outcomes.

Legislators have the right to simply vote yes or no on a measure. Oregon voters should not have this right stripped away.

  
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