- Court: Oregon Supreme Court
- Area(s) of Law: Ballot Titles
- Date Filed: 07-02-2020
- Case #: S067555
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Balmer, J. for the Court; En Banc
- Full Text Opinion
Petitioners appealed the judgment that the joint legislative committee’s ballot title summary met the substantial compliance requirements under ORS 250.035, and the explanatory statement prepared by the joint legislative committee. Petitioners contend that the ballot title and explanatory statement fails to satisfy the statutory standard because certain words were unclear about what types of actions could be viewed as influencing the outcome of an election, because the caption doesn’t identify all the measure’s major effects, and because the caption doesn’t inform voters of the restriction of political expression currently subject to protection by Oregon’s Bill of Rights. In reviewing a ballot title, the court determines if the ballot title provided a concise and impartial statement of the purpose of the measure. Priestly v. Paulus, 297 Or. 141, 145 (1979). A court will not modify an explanatory statement unless the insufficiency extends beyond reasonable argument. Sizemore v. Myers, 327 Or. 456, 467 (1998). The Court found that the ballot title caption substantially complies with the requirements of ORS 250.035(2)(a). The Court held the ballot title’s “no” result statement, summary, and explanatory statement to be modified. The ballot title is referred to the Attorney General for modification. The explanatory statement is modified and, as modified, is certified to the Secretary of State.