UPDATE ON THE STORY BELOW : On the evening of July 1, Jeff Jimerson of the Oregon 2014 campaign announced that there will NOT be enough signatures in hand by the July 3 deadline. As of July 1, about 95,000 signatures had been obtained.
ALBANY — Have enough voter signatures been gathered to ensure that a proposal to eliminate state funding for abortions in Oregon makes it onto this November’s ballot?
At press time for this newspaper, the answer was unknown, as pages of signatures were coming in like a flood but hadn’t been counted yet, said the Oregon 2014 campaign initiative’s chief petitioner, Jeff Jimerson of Albany.
He said the pace of mail had continually increased in recent days: “We’re getting 500 pieces of mail a day. It takes us hours to open the mail. It’s been kind of exciting, but I’m exhausted.”
Energized by concerned Christians, the initiative effort as of press time had secured about 80,000 signatures, he said; a total of 116,284 valid signatures must be obtained by July 3 to qualify the measure.
“I’ve totally released this to the Lord,” said Jimerson. “If it happens, it will be His doing. We’ve done everything we can do.” Campaign coordination has been al-most like a second full-time job for Jimerson. Volunteers statewide have petitioned at churches and events. E-mail and phone efforts urged thousands to take part.
According to Jimerson, the number of taxpayer-funded abortions in Oregon has steadily grown over the past five years, to more than 4,000 annually paid under the Oregon Health Plan.
For campaign updates, go to www.Oregon2014.org.