Today is a joyous day!
For today is the day marking the cessation of people harassing you on the street to support their initiative or referendum petition. Huzzah!
The measures aiming to land on Oregon's ballot in the fall had to turn in the last batch of their signatures today at the Secretary of State's office. After today, the state looks at every signature sheet and decides whether it's valid—they typically throw out about 30-35 percent of signatures because there's some problem with them (like an incomplete address or made-up name).
I profiled a couple of the likely measures a few weeks ago, but here's how they're shaping up today.
ABORTION: Pro-choice advocates rejoiced yesterday when it became clear that two anti-abortion measures would not turn in nearly enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. The two would have banned all abortion plus some contraception and banned any public funds being used for abortions, respectively.
POT: The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act went into hyperdrive on signature gathering during the past couple weeks because the state determined that only 58 percent of its signatures were valid. Today, their collected total is 165,000. Since they only need 87,213 valid signatures to get on the ballot, they can afford to have 47 percent of them thrown out and still land on Oregon's ballot. In other words, it's lookin' likely.
KICKER: The anti-corporate kicker campaign turned in 205,250 signatures today, which means it will almost definitely be on the ballot. The move to turn over unforeseen tax revenue to schools rather than to corporations has broad support in the state, including from companies.
SALMON: The folks who want to Stop Gillnetting in Oregon turned in 138,000 signatures. That makes it statistically likely that they'll be on the ballot and newspapers can continue making "fishy" puns for the next six months.
ESTATE TAX: Kevin Mannix and backers of the plan to end Oregon's estate tax (which only hits people inheriting over $1 million) turned in about 120,000 signatures, which cuts it close but means they could squeak onto the ballot.