The Oregon Republican Party’s statement for the state voters’ pamphlet won’t appear in the guide mailed to voters because it missed the deadline by 29 seconds, according to the office of Secretary of State Bev Clarno.
“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,” Laura Fosmire, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Bev Clarno, said in a statement.
Oregon state GOP communications director Kevin Hoar insists that the Republicans filed the statement at 4:59 p.m. on Aug. 25, before the deadline, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. The Republicans filed a lawsuit in Marion County demanding that the statement be included before the voters’ guide goes to print later this month, he said.
“We can’t quite explain the interpretation and decision here,” Hoar said.
State Republican Chairman Bill Currier said the move to bar the statement “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,” Currier said.
Clarno is the only Republican holding a statewide office in Oregon. She served as House speaker in Oregon before she was appointed secretary of state by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown to serve the remainder of the term of Dennis Richardson, who died in 2019.
The statement submitted by the Republican Party was headlined “Had enough? Vote Republican!” It denounced Democratic leadership in Oregon on issues ranging from “unrestrained rioting” in Portland to mismanagement of the pandemic resulting in “catastrophic small business losses.”
Hoar also said that Currier was locked out of the online filing system for several hours, delaying the party’s ability to file its statement.
Fosmire said there were “no problems or glitches” with the online reporting system.
“We simply received the statement after the filing deadline,” she said.
The Democratic Party of Oregon and six other political parties are included in the voters’ pamphlet for the Nov. 3 election.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.