Measure 90 (the “top-two primary” measure) raises two civil liberties interests: meaningful access to the ballot for minority party and independent candidates and voters, and the right of association for political parties. Because of the competing civil liberties interests raised by the top-two primary, the ACLU of Oregon is neutral* on the measure and encourages voters to carefully examine arguments on both sides in order to make an informed decision as to their vote.
In addition to making choices about elected leaders and statewide issues, voters in Gresham will have the opportunity this November to make a decision on an important voting rights issue: should the Gresham City Council return to a system of district elections? In 1986 the Gresham voters chose to replace its district elections system with at-large elections, which is the system that exists today. Gresham Ballot Measure 26-141 would preserve the at-large election of the mayor, but would require Gresham City Council members to reside in and be elected from one of six council districts.
Because at-large elections too often dilute minority voting strength or obstruct the ability of minority communities to elect candidates of their choice, the ACLU of Oregon supports Measure 26-141 and urges Gresham voters to vote YES.
This session, ACLU testified in support of two initiative reform bills, both of which passed, and in opposition to a third bill that would have set a tight deadline for the Oregon Supreme Court to act on ballot title challenges.