OREGON REDISTRICTING REFORM PROPOSAL SPRINTS AHEAD by Norman Turrill (Chief Petitioner, IP 34)
Secretary of State Validates IP 34 Sponsorship Signatures Next Step: Ballot Title
People Not Politician’s Initiative Petition 34 (IP 34), to establish a citizens’ independent redistricting commission, took its next step towards the November 2022 ballot. On November 12, the Secretary of State validated the sponsorship signatures submitted by IP 34’s circulators. The Secretary of State’s certification means IP 34 may now proceed to an Attorney General's analysis for the drafting of the ballot title.
“During this year’s legislative hearings on redistricting, Oregonians testified hundreds of times in support of an independent citizens’ redistricting committee to do the job, rather than politicians who have an inherent conflict of interest,” said Norman Turrill, Chief Petitioner of IP 34 and Chair of People Not Politicians. “The legislature staggered across the redistricting finish line on the last possible day. There were walkouts, calls for censure, almost total party-line votes in the legislature, less than eight days to consider the final maps, with no public hearings during that period, and now three court challenges. All these demonstrate beyond doubt that the redistricting process in Oregon is broken. Furthermore, over 40% of Oregon voters, who are not members of either major political party, continue to be virtually shut out of the process.”
Oregonians support an independent citizens’ redistricting commission. In late 2019, People Not Politicians enlisted Lake Research Partners to run a statewide poll. Results showed an average 76% of Democrats, 67% of Independents, and 60% of Republicans favor an independent citizens’ commission.
Initiative Petition 34 would establish a 12-member independent citizens' redistricting commission, with four seats each for Democrats, Republicans, and minor party or non-affiliated voters. Third-party and nonaffiliated voters are now the largest sector of registered voters in Oregon, about 40% of the electorate. The commission would redraw district lines for the 2024 election.
Initiative Petition 34 is similar to 2020’s IP 57, which narrowly fell short of making the ballot only after Oregon Democratic Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed numerous legal challenges and delayed the process all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Initiative Petition 34 replaces IP 16, filed earlier this year. IP 57 was supported by a full spectrum of Oregon voices: Common Cause Oregon, the League of Women Voters of Oregon, the Independent Party of Oregon, the Oregon Progressive Party, the NAACP, the Oregon Farm Bureau, OSPIRG, Taxpayers Association of Oregon, AAUW of Oregon, PDX Forward, Standup America, multiple business groups, and tens of thousands of Oregonians. “This measure reforms the process to draw districts in a fair, open, and balanced multi-partisan way, so Oregonians can have a better voice in their representation,” said Turrill. Learn more and read the initiative at www.PeopleNotPoliticiansOregon.com.