July 17, 2024

Right to Know Files Emergency Lawsuit in Oregon GE Labeling Recount

According to the Center for Food Safety, Oregon citizens and Oregon Right to Know Campaign have filed an emergency lawsuit to ensure that their votes are properly counted in the recount of the Oregon GE labeling ballot measure. About 4,600 votes may be rejected. A mandatory statewide hand recount of Measure 92 is going on right now.

GMO TomatoThe difference between “yes” and “no” was less than a tenth of a percentage point, or 812 votes. At this point, 4,600 ballots are being rejected without evidence of fraud or forgery.

The lawsuit states, “these voters completed their ballots, signed their return identification envelopes pursuant to instructions provided by the Secretary of the State and local election officials, and timely returned their ballots. However, local election officials … have not counted these ballots because the voters’ signatures on their return identification envelopes do not ‘match’ their signature on file for those voters.”

Voting is conducted by mail in Oregon. Voters sign their ballots and the signature is compared to one on file. But voting instructions did not tell the voters that their signature must “match”, and that is not required by Oregon’s election law.

Many signatures change over time because of illness, age, and disability. Some people received notification that their signature is being challenged, but many have not. And some people have tried to correct the “mismatch” but their vote is not being counted anyway.

George Kimbrell, senior attorney with Center for Food Safety said in a statement, “the right to vote is a fundamental right. Thousands of voters should not have their rights denied because of a technicality that the law does not require. Absent evidence of forgery or fraud, these ballots must be counted. It’s especially critical here, since the closest statewide election in Oregon history hangs in the balance.”


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