Oregon's Measure 114 not a done deal

Oregon's Measure 114 not a done deal
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Earlier this week, I wrote about how Measure 114’s passage did manage to have a silver lining. I still think there are some potential upsides available, but the best-case scenario would always be the measure not passing at all.

And, it seemed it had.

Only, it really hasn’t.

The people of Oregon may be awaiting the official outcome of their state’s race for governor, but they are also anticipating the results of a potentially drastic change in the state’s gun laws.

In addition to races like the one between gubernatorial candidates Tina Kotek and Christine Drazan, a bill known as the Reduction of Gun Violence Act is also on the ballot. As of Thursday morning, data on a state website showed that the Beaver State was nearly evenly split on the issue, with 50.86% in favor of the bill and 49.14% against it, a difference of 26,827 votes.

According to The Oregonian, those numbers have not been updated since Wednesday evening, when less than 80% of the votes had been counted. Additionally, Oregon’s vote-by-mail system allows ballots to continue to be received until November 15, so long as they were postmarked by 8 p.m. on Election Day. So far, The Associated Press has yet to make a call on the outcome of the vote.

As of this writing, only 88 percent of the vote is in with 50.7 in favor of passage and 49.3 against, with just under 24,000 votes separating the two positions.

Now, The Oregonian still projects Measure 114 will pass, and I tend to think it will as well. I doubt we’re going to see an 11th-hour landslide of votes shifting things in the other direction and defeating the bill.

Still, I jumped the gun writing about any silver lining when there’s still hope this bill may go down in defeat. I’m writing this to own that mistake because, well, I really do try to do just that.

If so, none of that matters. There will be no legal challenge and Oregonians can go right on with their lives without a care in the world.

That’s not particularly likely, unfortunately. Measure 114 will probably become law.

Then those legal challenges start.

All we’re seeing right now is a delay in counting these votes that is about on par with Arizona. The only reason they’re not getting more attention is that Oregon is such a heavily blue state that winners can be declared with a far lower percentage of the vote. The results in Oregon are pretty much a foregone conclusion.

Which brings us back to Measure 114, which is a scarily close vote. It may well end up going in the other direction. If so, I’ll be shocked, but happily so.

If it doesn’t, though, the days of Measure 114’s impact may well be minimal as I’m sure a legal challenge will be filed almost immediately. Whether it’s even allowed to go into effect is in doubt, as a matter of fact, yet even if it does, it’s only a matter of time before the courts issue an injunction, soon to be followed with an overturning ruling.

But that’s if it passes, and there’s still hope.