Willamette Law Online

Oregon Supreme Court


ListPreviousNext


Dixon v. Rosenblum

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 05-08-2014
Case #: S062043
Landau, J. for the Court; En Banc.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/S062043.pdf

Ballot Titles: Under ORS 250.085, the Court reviews ballot petitions for accuracy. Ballot titles found to be inaccurate are referred to the Attorney General for modification.

Dixon sought review of the ballot title for Initiative Petition 38 (IP 38), which defines specific partisan offices as “voter choice offices” and would require all candidates for those offices be placed on the primary ballot. It would allow voters to vote for as many primary candidates as the voter chooses, while limiting any voter to one vote per candidate. The two candidates with the greatest number of votes for each office would appear on the primary ballot. The Court found three of five of Dixon's arguments persuasive: first, that the title does not comply with ORS 250.035(2)(a) because it refers to “unlimited votes,” which is misleading, reasoning that the caption is inaccurate because IP 38 restricts a voter from casting more than one vote for any candidate, and would not allow “unlimited votes." Second, that the caption fails to meet requirements of the statute because it overstates the effects of IP 38 by failing to state it applies to partisan elections only. The Court found that IP 38 would not change the “general election nominating process,” as the title states, but only “voter choice offices” would be affected. Third, that the “no” vote result statement is defective because it states a “no” vote would retain “vote limitation.”  The Court found that statement inaccurate when not in contrast to the “yes” vote’s “unlimited vote” description, which the Court rejected. Ballot title referred to Attorney General for modification.