Supporters of a measure to label genetically modified food in Oregon filed a lawsuit Monday claiming 4,600 valid votes were rejected during the statewide recount that’s underway. Nine voters have asked a judge for a restraining order to stop certification of the recount results until those 4,600 votes are counted, said Keven Glenn, spokesman for the Yes on 92 campaign. “We have said from the beginning of the recount that all valid votes should be counted, but unfortunately that is not happening currently,” said Paige Richardson, spokeswoman for the Yes on 92 campaign. The 4,600 voters were among about 13,000 who completed, signed and submitted their ballots on time, but whose votes were not counted because their signatures did not match the signature on file. They were notified and given until Nov. 18 to fix the problem. But many of those voters’ signatures changed because of illness or disability, the lawsuit claims. Some were never notified their vote was being challenged. Others tried to correct their signature with elections officials, but still find their vote is not being counted.
Ballot instructions don’t inform voters that their signature must match the signature on file, the requirement is not in Oregon’s election law, and there is no evidence any of the voters have engaged in election fraud, the suit claims.
“Thousands of voters should not have their rights denied because of a technicality that the law does not require,” said George Kimbrell, senior attorney with the Center for Food Safety, lead author of Measure 92. “Absent evidence of forgery or fraud, these ballots must be counted.”
Plaintiff Christine Seals is a quadriplegic who uses a stamp as her legal signature. She received a letter stating her signature didn’t match, but she didn’t respond because she assumed the letter was a mistake, given her longstanding disability, which she thought was well-documented in the county elections office.
Full Article: Lawsuit filed in Oregon GMO labeling recount.