Oregon, USA, regional Popular or citizens initiative [PCI] - Initiative petition

General Typology

Instrument
Popular or citizens initiative [PCI]
Location
Oregon, USA
Political level
regional
Local Name:
Initiative petition
Normative Level:
constitutional
Legally Binding:
yes
Legally Defined:

ARTICLE IV LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
Section 1. Legislative power; initiative and referendum.
(1) The legislative power of the state, except for the initiative and referendum powers reserved to the people, is vested in a Legislative Assembly, consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives.
(2)(a) The people reserve to themselves the initiative power, which is to propose laws and amendments to the Constitution and enact or reject them at an election independently of the Legislative Assembly.
(b) An initiative law may be proposed only by a petition signed by a number of qualified voters equal to six percent of the total number of votes cast for all candidates for Governor at the election at which a Governor was elected for a term of four years next preceding the filing of the petition. (..)
(d) An initiative petition shall include the full text of the proposed law or amendment to the Constitution. A proposed law or amendment to the Constitution shall embrace one subject only and matters properly connected therewith.
(e) An initiative petition shall be filed not less than four months before the election at which the proposed law or amendment to the Constitution is to be voted upon.

(4)(a) Petitions or orders for the initiative or referendum shall be filed with the Secretary of State. The Legislative Assembly shall provide by law for the manner in which the Secretary of State shall determine whether a petition contains the required number of signatures of qualified voters. The Secretary of State shall complete the verification process within the 30-day period after the last day on which the petition may be filed as provided in paragraph (e) of subsection (2) or paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of this section.
(b) Initiative and referendum measures shall be submitted to the people as provided in this section and by law not inconsistent therewith.
(d) Notwithstanding section 1, Article XVII of this Constitution, an initiative or referendum measure becomes effective 30 days after the day on which it is enacted or approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon. A referendum ordered by petition on a part of an Act does not delay the remainder of the Act from becoming effective.

References: Oregon Constitution, (accessed 9 August 2017)

Subject Matter:

To initiate laws

Actors

Author:
Citizens
Initiator:
Citizens
Decision maker:
Electorate

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
6% of the total number of votes cast (Governor elections)
Available Time:
Up to 4 months before the election
Turnout Quorum:
No turnout quorum found in legal source
Approval Quorum:
Majority of those voting
Geographical Quorum:
No geographical quorum found in legal source
Excluded Issues:

Section 33. Reduction of criminal sentences approved by initiative or referendum process. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 25 of this Article, a two-thirds vote of all the members elected to each house shall be necessary to pass a bill that reduces a criminal sentence approved by the people under section 1 of this Article.

[Created through initiative petition filed Nov. 16, 1993, and adopted by the people Nov. 8, 1994]

Other Formal Requirements:

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
free
Specify Collection Mode:

250.015 Form of petition; numbering of signature sheets; rules. The Secretary of State by rule shall:
(1) Design the form of the prospective petition, and the initiative and the referendum petition, including the signature sheets, to be used in any initiative or referendum in this state.
(2) Designate the quality of paper to be used for signature sheets in order to ensure the legibility of the signatures.
(3) Prescribe a system for numbering the signature sheets to be used in any initiative or referendum in this state.

250.025 Qualifications for signers of petition; removal of signatures. (1) Any elector may sign an initiative or referendum petition for any measure on which the elector is entitled to vote.
(2) After an initiative or referendum petition is submitted for signature verification, no elector who signed the petition may remove the signature of the elector from the petition.

250.052 Official templates of cover and signature sheets; electronic template; rules. (1)(a) For each state initiative, referendum or recall petition, the Secretary of State shall prepare official templates of the cover and signature sheets for the petition. Except as provided in this section, templates of cover and signature sheets for state initiative and referendum petitions are subject to the requirements of ORS 250.045. The templates of signature sheets to be used by persons who are being paid to obtain signatures on the petition shall be a different color from the sheets to be used by persons who are not being paid to obtain signatures on the petition.
(b) For each prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated the secretary shall prepare official templates of the cover and signature sheets. The templates of signature sheets to be used by persons who are being paid to obtain signatures on the prospective petition shall be a different color from the sheets to be used by persons who are not being paid to obtain signatures on the prospective petition. Each signature sheet for the prospective petition shall:
(A) Contain a notice describing the meaning of the color of the signature sheet; and
(B) If one or more persons will be paid for obtaining signatures of electors on the prospective petition, contain a notice stating: €œSome Circulators For This Prospective Petition Are Being Paid. The notice shall be in boldfaced type and shall be prominently displayed on the sheet.
(2) A person obtaining signatures on a state initiative, referendum or recall petition or a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated may use only the cover and signature sheets contained in the official templates prepared for the petition or prospective petition. A person who is being paid to obtain signatures on the petition or prospective petition shall use the signature sheet template designated for use by persons being paid to obtain signatures. A person who is not being paid to obtain signatures on the petition or prospective petition shall use the signature sheet template designated for use by persons who are not being paid to obtain signatures.
(3) The secretary shall issue templates for a petition or prospective petition only to a chief petitioner of the petition or prospective petition or to an agent designated by a chief petitioner.
(4) The secretary shall issue official templates to a chief petitioner or designated agent not later than:
(a) Three business days after the deadline for filing a petition under ORS 250.085 relating to a ballot title certified by the Attorney General for the state initiative petition or, if a petition is filed with the Supreme Court under ORS 250.085, three business days after the Supreme Court certifies to the Secretary of State a ballot title for the state initiative petition;
(b) Three business days after a prospective petition is filed under ORS 249.865 or 250.045 for a state recall petition or state referendum petition; or
(c) Three business days after the chief petitioner files a statement with the secretary under ORS 250.045 (2) for a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated.
(5) Not later than five business days after the deadline for the secretary to issue templates under subsection (4) of this section, a chief petitioner of a state initiative, referendum or recall petition or a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated may submit to the secretary a written request for modification of the templates. The secretary shall approve or disapprove the request not later than five business days after receiving the request. If the secretary disapproves the request, the secretary shall advise the chief petitioner in writing of the reasons for the disapproval.
(6) In addition to the templates prepared under subsections (1) to (5) of this section, for each state initiative, referendum or recall petition, the secretary shall prepare an official electronic template of a signature sheet for the petition. A template prepared under this subsection shall allow space for the signature of one elector. An elector may print a copy of the electronic signature sheet for a petition, sign the sheet and deliver the signed sheet to a chief petitioner or an agent designated by a chief petitioner. Electronic templates described in this subsection are subject to the requirements of ORS 250.045, other than ORS 250.045 (6), (9) and (10).
(7) The secretary shall adopt rules prescribing the contents and method of production of official templates required under this section.

References: Chapter 250. Initiative and Referendum (accessed 9 August 2017)

Wording Of Ballot Question:

250.035 Form of ballot titles for state and local measures.
(1) The ballot title of any measure, other than a state measure, to be initiated or referred shall consist of:
(a) A caption of not more than 10 words which reasonably identifies the subject of the measure;
(b) A question of not more than 20 words which plainly phrases the chief purpose of the measure so that an affirmative response to the question corresponds to an affirmative vote on the measure; and
(c) A concise and impartial statement of not more than 175 words summarizing the measure and its major effect.
(2) The ballot title of any state measure to be initiated or referred shall consist of:
(a) A caption of not more than 15 words that reasonably identifies the subject matter of the state measure. The caption of an initiative or referendum amendment to the Constitution shall begin with the phrase, Amends Constitution, which shall not be counted for purposes of the 15-word caption limit;
(b) A simple and understandable statement of not more than 25 words that describes the result if the state measure is approved. The statement required by this paragraph shall include either the phrase, €œI vote€ or €œvote yes,€ or a substantially similar phrase, which may be placed at any point within the statement;
(c) A simple and understandable statement of not more than 25 words that describes the result if the state measure is rejected. The statement required by this paragraph shall not describe existing statutory or constitutional provisions in a way that would lead an average elector to believe incorrectly that one of those provisions would be repealed by approval of the state measure, if approval would not have that result. Any thing or action described both in the statement required by paragraph (b) of this subsection and in the statement required by this paragraph shall be described using the same terms in both statements, to the extent practical. Any different terms must be terms that an average elector would understand to refer to the same thing or action. The statement shall include either the phrase, €œI vote€ or €œvote no,€ or a substantially similar phrase, which may be placed at any point within the statement; and
(d) A concise and impartial statement of not more than 125 words summarizing the state measure and its major effect.
(3) The statements required by subsection (2)(b) and (c) of this section shall be written so that, to the extent practicable, the language of the two statements is parallel.
(4) The statement required by subsection (2)(b) of this section shall be written so that an affirmative response to the statement corresponds to an affirmative vote on the state measure.
(5) The statement required by subsection (2)(c) of this section shall be written so that an affirmative response to the statement corresponds to a negative vote on the state measure.
(6) In the statements required by subsection (2)(b), (c) and (d) of this section, reasonable discretion shall be allowed in the use of articles and conjunctions, but the statements shall not omit articles and conjunctions that are necessary to avoid confusion to or misunderstanding by an average elector.

References: Chapter 250. Initiative and Referendum (accessed 9 August 2017)

Interaction With Authorities:

250.043 Acceptance of initiative or referendum petition without original signatures.
(1) Notwithstanding ORS 250.105, 250.215, 250.315 and 255.175, an initiative or referendum petition for which original signatures are otherwise required may be accepted by the appropriate filing officer for signature verification with photographic copies of one or more signature sheets if:
(a) The signature sheets containing the original signatures were stolen or destroyed by fire, a natural disaster or other act of God; and
(b) The photographic copy of each original signature sheet contains the number of the original signature sheets prescribed by the Secretary of State under ORS 250.015.
(2) As used in this section:
(a) "Act of God" means an unanticipated grave natural disaster or other natural phenomenon of an exceptional, inevitable and irresistible character, the effects of which could not have been prevented or avoided by the exercise of due care or foresight.
(b) "Filing officer" means the Secretary of State in the case of an initiative or referendum petition relating to a state measure, the county clerk in the case of an initiative or referendum petition relating to a county measure, the city elections officer in the case of an initiative or referendum petition relating to a city measure and the elections officer as defined in ORS 255.005 in the case of an initiative or referendum petition relating to a district measure

250.044 When actions challenging constitutionality of state measure must be filed in Marion County Circuit Court.
(1) An action that challenges the constitutionality of a measure initiated by the people or referred to the people for a vote must be commenced in the Circuit Court for Marion County if:
(a) The action is filed by a plaintiff asserting a claim for relief that challenges the constitutionality of a state statute or an amendment to the Oregon Constitution initiated by the people or referred to the people under section 1 (1) to (4), Article IV of the Oregon Constitution;
(b) The action is commenced on or after the date that the Secretary of State certifies that the challenged measure has been adopted by the electors and within 180 days after the effective date of the measure; and
(c) The action may not be commenced in the Oregon Tax Court.
(2) An action under subsection (1) of this section must be within the jurisdiction of circuit courts and must present a justiciable controversy. The plaintiff in an action subject to the requirements of this section must serve a copy of the complaint on the Attorney General.
(3) If an action subject to the requirements of this section is filed in a court other than the Circuit Court for Marion County, the other court, on its own motion or the motion of any party to the action, shall dismiss the action or transfer the action to the Circuit Court for Marion County.
(4) This section does not apply to any civil or criminal proceeding in which the constitutionality of a state statute or provision of the Oregon Constitution is challenged in a responsive pleading.
(5) If a judgment in an action subject to the requirements of this section holds that a challenged measure is invalid in whole or in part, a party to the action may appeal the judgment only by filing a notice of appeal directly with the Supreme Court within the time and in the manner specified in ORS chapter 19 for civil appeals to the Court of Appeals. Any party filing a notice of appeal under this subsection must note in the notice of appeal that the case is subject to this subsection.
(6) If a judgment in an action subject to the requirements of this section holds that a challenged measure is valid, a party to the action may appeal the judgment by filing a notice of appeal in the Court of Appeals within the time and in the manner specified in ORS chapter 19 for civil appeals.
Notwithstanding ORS 19.405 (1), the party may move the Court of Appeals to certify the appeal to the Supreme Court, and the Court of Appeals acting in its sole discretion may so certify the appeal. If the Court of Appeals certifies the appeal to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court shall accept or deny acceptance of the certification as provided in ORS 19.405 (2). [1997 c.794 §2]

STATE MEASURES
250.045 Prospective petition; signature requirement; cover and signature sheet requirements; rules.
(1) Before circulating a petition to initiate or refer a state measure under section
1, Article IV, Oregon Constitution, the petitioner shall file with the Secretary of State a prospective petition. The prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated shall contain the signatures of at least 1,000 electors. The signature sheets must be attached to a full and correct copy of the measure to be initiated.
(2) Before obtaining signatures on a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated, the chief petitioners shall file with the secretary a statement declaring whether one or more persons will be paid money or other valuable consideration for obtaining signatures of electors on the prospective
petition. After a statement has been filed under this subsection, the chief petitioners shall notify the secretary not later than the 10th day after any of the chief petitioners first has knowledge or should have had knowledge that:
(a) Any person is being paid for obtaining signatures, when the statement filed under this subsection declared that no such person would be paid.
(b) No person is being paid for obtaining signatures, when the statement filed under this subsection declared that one or more such persons would be paid.
(3) The secretary by rule shall establish procedures for verifying whether a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated contains the required number of signatures of electors.
(4) The secretary shall date and time stamp the prospective petition and specify the form on which the initiative or referendum petition shall be printed for circulation as provided in ORS 250.052. The secretary shall retain the prospective petition.
(5) The chief petitioner may amend the state measure to be initiated that has been filed with the secretary without filing another prospective petition, if:
(a) The Attorney General certifies to the secretary that the proposed amendment will not substantially change the substance of the measure; and
(b) The deadline for submitting written comments on the draft title has not passed.
(6) The cover of an initiative or referendum petition shall designate the name and residence address of not more than three persons as chief petitioners and shall contain instructions for persons obtaining signatures of electors on the petition. The instructions shall be adopted by the secretary by rule. The cover of a referendum petition shall contain the final measure summary described in ORS

250.065 (1). If a petition seeking a different ballot title is not filed with the Supreme Court by the deadline for filing a petition under ORS 250.085, the cover of an initiative petition shall contain the latest ballot title certified by the Attorney General under ORS 250.067 (2). However, if the Supreme Court has reviewed the ballot title, the cover of the initiative petition shall contain the title certified by
the court.
(7) The chief petitioners shall include with the prospective petition a statement declaring whether one or more persons will be paid money or other valuable consideration for obtaining signatures of electors on the initiative or referendum petition. After the prospective petition is filed, the chief petitioners shall notify the filing officer not later than the 10th day after any of the chief petitioners first has knowledge or should have had knowledge that:
(a) Any person is being paid for obtaining signatures, when the statement included with the prospective petition declared that no such person would be paid.
(b) No person is being paid for obtaining signatures, when the statement included with the prospective petition declared that one or more such persons would be paid.
(8)(a) Each sheet of signatures on an initiative petition shall contain the caption of the ballot title. Each sheet of signatures on a referendum petition shall contain the subject expressed in the title of the Act to be referred.
(b) Each sheet of signatures on an initiative or referendum petition shall:
(A) Contain a notice describing the meaning of the color of the signature sheet in accordance with ORS 250.052; and
(B) If one or more persons will be paid for obtaining signatures of electors on the petition, contain a notice stating: €œSome Circulators For This Petition Are Being Paid.€ The notice shall be in 50.048 Registration and training for paid petition circulators; requirements; effect of failure to register; rules. (1) A person may not pay money or other valuable consideration to another person for obtaining signatures of electors on a state initiative, referendum or recall petition or a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated, and a person may not receive money or other valuable consideration for obtaining signatures of electors on a state initiative, referendum or recall petition or a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated, unless the person obtaining the signatures:
(a) Registers with the Secretary of State in the manner prescribed by this section and by rule of the secretary; and
(b) Completes the training program prescribed by rule of the secretary.
(2) A person may apply to the secretary for a registration required under subsection (1) of this section. The application shall include:
(a) The full name and any assumed name of the applicant;
(b) The residential street address of the applicant;
(c) An example of the signature of the applicant;
(d) A list of the prospective petitions on which the applicant will gather signatures;
(e) A list of the initiative, referendum and recall petitions on which the applicant will gather signatures;
(f) If the applicant has been convicted for a criminal offense involving fraud, forgery or identification theft, information relating to the circumstances of the conviction as required by the secretary;
(g) A statement signed by the applicant acknowledging that the applicant has read and understands Oregon law applicable to the gathering of signatures on state initiative, referendum and recall petitions and prospective petitions for state measures to be initiated, as the law is summarized in the training program established by the Secretary of State;
(h) Evidence indicating that the applicant has completed the training required by the secretary by rule;
(i) A photograph of the applicant; and
(j) A statement signed by a chief petitioner of each petition or prospective petition, or a person designated by a chief petitioner under this paragraph, upon which the applicant will gather signatures acknowledging that the chief petitioner is liable for violations of law or rule committed by the person obtaining signatures as provided in ORS 260.561. A chief petitioner may designate a person to sign a statement described in this paragraph on behalf of the chief petitioner.
(3)(a) If an applicant complies with subsection (2) of this section, not later than five business days after the applicant applies, the secretary shall register the applicant and assign the applicant a registration number.
(b) A person who is registered to obtain signatures on a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated need not reapply for a registration under this section in order to obtain signatures on a state initiative, referendum or recall petition, except that the person shall submit a list of the initiative, referendum and recall petitions on which the person will gather signatures.
(c) A registration to obtain signatures on a state initiative petition or a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated is valid until the date that is four months before the next general election.
(d) A registration to obtain signatures on a referendum or recall petition is valid until the date the petition is filed for signature verification.
(4) A person may not apply for registration under this section if, during the five-year period prior to the date of application, the person:
(a) Has been convicted for a criminal offense involving fraud, forgery or identification theft in any state;
(b) Has had a civil penalty imposed under ORS 260.995 for a violation of this section or ORS 260.262; or
(c) Has had a civil or criminal penalty imposed for violation of a statute subject to a criminal penalty under ORS 260.993.
(5) To assist in determining the identity of an applicant or whether an applicant has been convicted for a criminal offense described in subsection (4) of this section, upon consent of the applicant and upon request of the secretary, the Department of State Police shall furnish to the secretary any information that the department may have in its possession, including but not limited to the Law Enforcement Data System established in ORS 181.730, other computerized information and any other information to which the department may have access. For purposes of receiving the information described in this subsection, the office of the Secretary of State is a €œcriminal justice agency€ under ORS 181.010 to 181.560 and 181.715 to 181.730 and the rules adopted under ORS 181.555. Upon submitting an application for registration described in subsection (2) of this section, an applicant is deemed to have given the consent necessary for purposes of this subsection.
(6) If a person receives money or other valuable consideration for obtaining signatures of electors on a state initiative, referendum or recall petition or a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated and the person was not registered as required under this section at the time the signatures were obtained, the secretary may not include any signatures obtained by the person in a count under ORS 250.045 (3) or 250.105 or ORS chapter 249 for purposes of determining whether the petition or prospective petition contains the required number of signatures of electors.
(7) A person registered under this section shall carry evidence of registration with the person while the person is obtaining signatures on a state initiative, referendum or recall petition or a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated. The evidence of registration shall contain the photograph and registration number of the person. The secretary by rule shall designate the form of the evidence of registration.
(8) A photograph of an applicant submitted under subsection (2) of this section shall:
(a) Be a conventional photograph with a plain background;
(b) Show the face or the face, neck and shoulders of the applicant; and
(c) Be prepared and processed for printing as prescribed by the secretary.
(9) A person registered under this section may not obtain signatures on a petition or prospective petition for which the person is being paid and, at the same time, obtain signatures on a petition or prospective petition for which the person is not being paid. The secretary may not include any signatures obtained in violation of this subsection in a count under ORS 250.045 (3) or 250.105 or ORS chapter 249 for purposes of determining whether a state initiative, referendum or recall petition or a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated contains the required number of signatures of electors.
(10) The secretary shall adopt rules necessary to implement this section, including rules:
(a) Establishing procedures for registering persons who may be paid money or other valuable consideration for obtaining signatures of electors on state initiative, referendum or recall petitions or prospective petitions for state measures to be initiated; and
(b) Establishing a training program for persons who may be paid money or other valuable consideration for obtaining signatures of electors on state initiative, referendum or recall petitions or prospective petitions for state measures to be initiated.

References: Chapter 250. Initiative and Referendum (accessed 9 August 2017)

Supervision And Support:
Transparency And Finance:

Section 1b. Payment for signatures. It shall be unlawful to pay or receive money or other thing of value based on the number of signatures obtained on an initiative or referendum petition. Nothing herein prohibits payment for signature gathering which is not based, either directly or indirectly, on the number of signatures obtained. [Created through initiative petition filed Nov. 7, 2001, and adopted by the people Nov. 5, 2002]
Note: Added as unnumbered section to the Constitution but not to any Article therein by initiative petition (Measure No. 26, 2002) adopted by the people Nov. 5, 2002. Section 1d. Effective date of amendment to section 1, Article IV, by S.J.R. 3, 1999.

References: Oregon Constitution, (accessed 9 August 2017)

Practice

Archive:
Remarks: