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Girod v. Kroger

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 02-16-2012
Case #: S059996
Ballmer, J. for the Court; En Banc
Full Text Opinion: http://courts.oregon.gov/sites/Publications/S059996.pdf

Ballot Titles: As written, ballot titles must be accurate, state the scope of their effect, and comply with ORS 250.035(2).

Girod sought judicial review of Initiative Petition 26 (Initiative 26), a measure that, if enacted, amended ORS 508.775 to ban the gill nets on Oregon’s portion of the Columbia River, and the purchase of fish caught with a gill net by any “wholesaler, canner, or buyer.” Girod claimed Initiative 26 violated the requirements set forth in ORS 250.035(2) because it was inaccurate and overbroad. The Oregon Supreme Court agreed with Girod. Specifically, the Court held that the ballot title did not reasonably identify the subject, and would lead voters to believe Initiative 26 eliminated all non-tribal fishing, when in fact it only banned gillnetting. Furthermore, the Court took issue with the term "inland waters” in the ballot caption, because the caption stated that it only affected the Columbia River, but really banned gillnetting in all Oregon “inland waters.” Ballot title referred to the Attorney General for modification.