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Oregon ballot may have just six measures

3 initiatives await OK; none filed on deadline day.


Oregon voters will decide six ballot measures at most on Nov. 4, one of the shorter lists for a statewide election in recent years.

Thursday's deadline for filing initiative-petition signatures came and went without any new filings with the secretary of state.

Awaiting qualification, starting Monday, are initiatives to establish a top-two primary election for candidates, regulate cultivation and sale of marijuana through the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, and require labeling of genetically engineered foods.

State elections officials will begin work Monday. They have until Aug. 2 to verify 87,213 signatures, done through random sampling.

Any of the three pending proposals would join three other measures already qualified for the ballot.

One would write a version of the Equal Rights Amendment for women into the Oregon Constitution. It is the only initiative so far to qualify.

The 2013 Legislature referred a constitutional amendment to allow the state to sell bonds, or incur other debt, to create a student aid fund.

Voters also will decide whether to create four-year driver's cards to people who meet all requirements for a regular eight-year license, except for proof of legal presence in the United States. Lawmakers passed it in 2013, but opponents obtained enough signatures to put it on the ballot.

If the three pending measures qualify, the total of six would be the least since 2010, when there were four initiatives and three legislative measures.

It's the second time for all four initiatives, which voters rejected in different forms going back to 1996.

According to the Initiative & Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California, Oregon and California run neck-and-neck among the 24 states allowing some form of ballot initiatives.

According to the Oregon secretary of state, voters have passed 122 of 359 initiatives on the ballot since 1902.

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