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Oregon: suit filed against ballot-access law

AP reports: A Salem-based group has filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Oregon, claiming that voters have been constrained by a 2005 law that makes it tougher for independent candidates to qualify for the ballot.

The lawsuit was filed by the Committee for Petition Rights, headed by Greg Wasson. It has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Thomas Coffin in Eugene, but no hearing has been set.

The law prohibits anyone who votes in a partisan primary election from helping to nominate an independent candidate. Before the law was enacted, any registered voter could sign a nominating petition for an independent candidate, or attend a nominating convention. ...

The first candidate to be affected by the law was state Sen. Ben Westlund, I-Tumalo, who said the new rules made it tougher to get the signatures he needed for his campaign for governor. He abandoned the campaign in August. -- OregonLive.com: NewsFlash - Lawsuit filed over Oregon law that impedes independent candidates

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