Oregon Drug Decriminalization and Addiction Treatment Initiative suspends in-person signature gathering

Yes on IP 44, which is sponsoring the Oregon Drug Decriminalization and Addiction Treatment Initiative, suspended in-person signature gathering on March 26. The campaign announced on March 5 that they had collected 125,000 signatures but still needed 8,000 more signatures to meet their raw signature goal. A total of 112,020 valid signatures are required to qualify for the ballot by the submission deadline on July 2. The sponsors requested that supporters download the petition to sign and mail into the campaign.

In an email to supporters, the campaign said, “It has been part of our campaign strategy all along to move to digital signature gathering at some point. COVID just accelerated that transition. … We want to make sure we have more than enough valid signatures so that there’s absolutely no question as to whether or not we’ll be on the ballot.”

Ballotpedia is tracking how changes to ballot measure campaigns, procedures, and policies in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

At least 13 statewide ballot initiative campaigns have suspended or abandoned signature gathering. Three states and D.C. have canceled board meetings, closed offices, delayed petition deadlines, or otherwise changed their procedures or policies on ballot measures.

Sixteen states of the 26 with a process for statewide citizen-initiated measures have signature deadlines between the end of April and early August. This makes the next several months an important time period for the circulation of 2020 initiative and referendum signature petitions.

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