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Title 2 Legislation & Elections

Chapter 2.02 General Provisions

(Chapter added by Ordinance 177200, effective February 21, 2003.)

2.02.010 Definitions.

(Amended by Ordinance 179258, effective June 17, 2005.)

  1. As used in this title, unless the context requires otherwise:
  2. A. "Auditor" means the Auditor of the City of Portland, or designee.
  3. B. "Candidate" means an individual whose name is or is expected to be printed on the official ballot.
  4. C. "City Elections Officer" means the Auditor, or designee.
  5. D. "Elector" or "Eligible Elector" means a person qualified to vote who is a resident of the City and a legal registered voter of the City and state of Oregon.
  6. E. "General Election" means the statewide election held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of each even-numbered year.
  7. F. "Initiative Petition" means a petition to initiate a measure for which a prospective petition has been filed but that is not yet a measure.
  8. G. "Measure" means any city legislation, advisory question, property tax levy, tax base, or bond measure proposed for adoption, amendment, revision, repeal or referral through the initiative or referendum procedures prescribed by this title.
  9. H. "Nonpartisan" means not representing any national or state political party, committee or convention or acting for any political party. All City elected offices are nonpartisan.
  10. I. "Perfected Petition" or "Petition" means the information, including signatures and other identification of petition signatures, required to be contained in a completed petition.
  11. J. "Primary Election" means the statewide election held the third Tuesday in May of each even-numbered year.
  12. K. "Prospective Petition" means the information, except signatures and other identification of petition signers, required to be contained in a completed petition.
  13. L. "Referendum Petition" means a petition to refer a measure for which a prospective petition has been filed but that is not yet a measure.
  14. M. "Regular Election" means the biennial statewide primary or general election date.
  15. N. "Special Election" means any election at which a measure is submitted to the electors or candidates are nominated or elected on a date other than a regular election date.
  16. O. "Statement of Understanding" means a document provided by the Auditor and signed by the Chief Petitioner of a prospective petition indicating receipt of all forms and requirements necessary to file a perfected petition.

2.02.020 City Elections Officer.

  1. A. The Auditor, or designee, shall serve as the City Elections Officer.
  2. B. The City Elections Officer may accept for filing and verify elections documents, maintain elections registers and historical records, prepare and publish a voters' pamphlet, and prepare and publish an election notice.
  3. C. All documents involving filing as a candidate, organizing a principal campaign committee or a political action committee, reporting campaign contributions, filing an initiative, referendum or recall petition, and preparing and forwarding a measure for the election ballot shall be filed with the City Elections Officer.
  4. D. The City Elections Officer shall verify the sufficiency of the content and form of the documents and shall immediately stamp the date and time of receipt on the documents. The City Elections Officer's review does not include verification of factual representations contained in submitted documents or verification that filings are free of substantive legal defects.

2.02.030 Campaign Finance Regulations.

(Amended by Ordinance 179258, effective June 17, 2005.)

  1. Campaign finance regulations, procedures and forms shall be governed by state law and this title.

2.02.040 Applicability of State Law; Limitations.

(Amended by Ordinance 179258, effective June 17, 2005.)

  1. A. The provisions of this title and the City Charter shall prevail over any conflicting provisions of state law relating to the exercise of initiative and referendum powers and matters subject to legislation by the City.
  2. B. The procedures for nominating and electing city officers shall be as provided by state law, the City Charter, and this title.
  3. C. The campaign finance system and reporting requirements for city candidates, political committee, and chief petitioners shall be as provided by state law, the City Charter, and this title.
  4. D. All elections for city officers shall be held at the same time and place as elections for state and county officers in accordance with state law, except in the case of a special election to fill a vacancy in office or providing a runoff for two candidates nominated at a general election or special nominating election.
  5. E. Except as otherwise provided in the Charter or this title, the Auditor shall maintain and preserve all documents related to an election matter for the retention period prescribed by state law. The Auditor shall retain nominating petitions and declarations of candidacy for six years after the election.
  6. F. An emergency ordinance shall not be subject to the referendum process; however, the City Attorney shall be consulted by the Auditor prior to refusal to accept a referendum petition.

2.02.050 Computation of Dates.

A. The filing deadline shall be 5 p.m. on the date the document or fee is due unless the deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or other legal holiday specified in ORS 187.010, in which case the due date shall be the next business day at 5 p.m. Documents will be accepted after 5 p.m. if the document is physically in the office at 5 p.m.

B. In computing the due date for documents due X months prior to an election date, the time is computed by using months; e.g. if the document is due six months prior to an election date which is November 6, it must be filed on or before May 6 at 5 p.m. If May 6 is a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, the provisions in 2.02.050 apply.

Chapter 2.04 Initiative and Referendum Procedures

(Chapter replaced by Ordinance 163790, effective February 15, 1991.)

2.04.010 Definitions.

(Repealed by Ordinance 177200, effective February 21, 2003.)

2.04.020 Applicability of State Law; Limitations.

(Repealed by Ordinance 177200, effective February 21, 2003.)

2.04.030 Pre-election Publication.

  1. No City voters pamphlet shall be required for an election subject to this chapter unless the Council directs it specifically.

2.04.040 Submission of Measures to Voters.

(Amended by Ordinances 177200 and 184947, effective November 18, 2011.)

  1. A.  Council Submission of Measures
    1. 1.  A measure may be submitted to the legal voters of the City by resolution of the Council.  No petition is required.
    2. 2.  An advisory question, measure or proposition may be submitted to the voters by resolution of the Council.  No petition is required.  The vote shall not enact the matter into law, preclude the Council from adopting an ordinance enacting the matter into law, or require the Council to enact the measure into law.
  2. B.  Elector’s Submission of Petition on Legislation
    1. 1.  A petition initiating or referring city legislation may be submitted by electors.  The petition shall comply with the requirements of Section 2.04.050 and meet the signature requirements of Section 2.04.090.
  3. C.   Charter Commission Measures
    1. 1.  A measure proposing a charter amendment that is supported by an affirmative vote of at least 15 members of the Charter Commission after a public hearing process prescribed by the Council shall be submitted to the legal voters of the City in conformance with the Charter and this Chapter.

2.04.050 Prospective Petition.

(Amended by Ordinance 177200, effective February 21, 2003.)

  1. A. The chief petitioner(s) shall file a prospective petition with the Auditor prior to circulating the petition. The petition shall be in a form required by the Auditor.
  2. B. State law with regard to the form of the petition shall apply except that the City shall provide on the form a place for the chief petitioners to state at which election date the measure is to be placed on the ballot.
    1. 1. In the case of an initiative petition:
      1. a. The chief petitioners shall specify the date at which the measure shall be submitted to the voters. The specified election date shall be a regular election date within two years and four months of the time the prospective petition is filed with the Auditor.
      2. b. Each signature sheet shall contain the caption of the ballot title.
      3. c. A full and correct copy of the legislation to be initiated must also be submitted with the prospective petition.
    2. 2. In the case of a referendum petition:
      1. a. Each signature sheet shall contain the title, and charter section or ordinance number or section numbers proposed for referral and the date it was adopted by Council.
      2. b. A full and correct copy of the legislation to be referred must also be submitted with the prospective petition.
    3. 3. If one or more persons will be paid for obtaining signatures of electors on the petition, each signature sheet shall contain a notice stating: "Some Circulators For This Petition Are Being Paid."
  3. C. The Auditor shall provide each chief petitioner with a "Statement of Understanding" and with a copy of each of the forms and requirements listed on the Statement. A Statement of Understanding signed by each chief petitioner shall be a prerequisite to acceptance of the petition.
  4. D. Prospective petitions which meet the requirements of Sections 2.04.050 A., B., and C. shall be accepted by the Auditor. The Auditor shall inscribe the date of filing upon the petition. The Auditor shall forward two copies to the City Attorney for the preparation of a ballot title not later than the sixth business day after the prospective petition is filed with the Auditor.

2.04.055 One Subject Determination.

(Added by Ordinance 177200, effective February 21, 2003.)

  1. A. The Auditor shall determine in writing no later than the fifth business day after receiving a prospective initiative petition whether the petition meets the requirements of Section 1(2)(D), Article IV of the Oregon Constitution.
  2. B. If the Auditor determines that the prospective initiative petition meets the requirements, the Auditor shall publish the ballot title as required in Section 2.04.060, including a statement that the petition has been determined to meet the requirements of Section 1(2)(D), Article IV of the Oregon Constitution.
  3. C. If the Auditor determines that the initiative petition does not meet the requirements, the Auditor shall immediately notify the petitioner of the determination in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested.
  4. D. Any elector dissatisfied with a determination of the Auditor under Section 2.04.055 A. may petition the circuit court to overturn the determination as provided by state law.

2.04.060 Ballot Title; Publication; Legal Effect.

(Amended by Ordinance 177200, effective February 21, 2003.)

  1. A. The City Attorney shall prepare a ballot title within five business days after receiving the prospective petition from the Auditor, or in the case of measures referred by Council, within five business days of the request. The ballot title shall comply with the requirements of state law. The purpose of the ballot title is to accurately describe the proposed measure, and does not constitute an opinion as to whether the proposed measure is free of legal defects.
  2. B. The ballot title shall consist of:
    1. 1. A caption of not more than 10 words which reasonably identifies the subject matter of the petition.
    2. 2. 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; and
    3. 3. A concise and impartial statement of not more than 175 words summarizing the measure and its major effects.
  3. C. In the case of a prospective petition, the City Attorney shall transmit the ballot title to the Auditor who shall inscribe the date of receipt on it and shall:
    1. 1. Transmit a copy of the petition and the ballot title to one of the chief petitioners; and,
    2. 2. Publish in the next available edition of a newspaper of general circulation in the City, a notice of receipt of the ballot title, that an elector may file a petition for review of the ballot title, and the date by which the appeal must be filed.
  4. D. Ballot titles for measures referred by Council shall be published by the Auditor as provided in Section 2.04.120 B.

2.04.070 Legal Challenge to Ballot Title.

(Amended by Ordinance 177200, effective February 21, 2003.)

A ballot title filed with the Auditor by the City Attorney or adopted by the City Council may be challenged as provided by state law.

2.04.080 Circulation of Petition.

(Added by Ordinance 177200, effective February 21, 2003.)

  1. A. The Auditor shall certify the petition to one of the chief petitioners for circulation at the conclusion of the seventh business day after the ballot title is received from the City Attorney or immediately upon final adjudication as prescribed by the court, except a referendum petition which is found by the Auditor to satisfy the provisions of Section 2.04.050 may be circulated prior to the preparation of the ballot title.
  2. B. The Auditor shall advise the chief petitioner in writing that the preparation of the ballot title by the City Attorney and certification of the petition by the Auditor does not certify that the proposed measure is a proper matter for the initiative or referendum process or that it is legal or free of legal defects.
  3. C. Each copy of the petition which is circulated shall consist of a cover page including the ballot title and the text of the legislation being initiated or referred backed with the signature sheet. If the text of the legislation is too lengthy to fit on the cover sheet, each person obtaining signatures on the petition shall carry at least one full and correct copy of the measure to be initiated or referred and shall allow any person to review a copy upon request.
  4. D. Each elector signing the petition shall do so by affixing the elector’s signature to the signature sheet. Space shall also be available on the signature sheet for the elector's, printed name, residence address, precinct number, and date of signing.
  5. E. No signature sheet shall be circulated by more than one person. Each signature sheet shall contain a certification signed by the circulator that each elector who signed the sheet did so in the circulator’s presence and to the best of the circulator’s knowledge, each elector signing the sheet is a legal voter of the City and that compensation received by the circulator, if any, was not based on the number of signatures obtained for this petition.

2.04.090 Filing Deadlines, Percentage Requirements and Signature Verification.

(Amended by Ordinances 177200 and 178799, effective November 5, 2004.)

  1. A. The Auditor shall not accept a petition for signature verification which does not satisfy the requirements of this chapter and other applicable law. Petitions shall be verified in the order in which they are filed with the Auditor.
  2. B. A petition shall not be accepted for signature verification unless it contains at least 100 percent of the required number of signatures.
  3. C. In computing the required number of signatures, the required number shall be a percentage, as provided in this section, of the number of electors registered in the city on the date of the primary municipal election immediately preceding the date the prospective petition is filed.
  4. D. An initiative petition shall:
    1. 1. Be filed with the Auditor for signature verification no less than four months before the election date specified on the petition. Failure to meet this filing deadline shall render the petition void.
    2. 2. Be signed by a number of electors equal to or greater than 9 percent of the number of electors registered in the city on the date of the primary municipal election immediately preceding the date the prospective petition is filed.
  5. E. A referendum petition shall:
    1. 1. Be filed with the Auditor for signature verification no later than 30 days after passage of the ordinance sought to be referred, however, it must be submitted to the Auditor at least four months before an election date in order to be placed on the ballot for that election. The four months submission requirement may be waived if the Auditor can complete the signature verification process and meet the counties’ elections filing deadlines, and the provisions of Section 2.04.130 B. are satisfied.
    2. 2. Be signed by a number of legal voters equal to or greater than 6 percent of the number of electors registered in the city on the date of the primary municipal election immediately preceding the date the prospective petition is filed, except that a petition signed by 2,000 registered voters shall be sufficient to call a referendum upon any franchise ordinance.
  6. F. Upon acceptance of the petition, the Auditor shall arrange for verification of the validity of the signatures with the County Elections Officers. Verification may be performed by random sampling in a manner approved by the Secretary of the State of Oregon.
  7. G. The Auditor shall complete the verification process within 30 days after receipt of the petition and shall advise a chief petitioner whether the petition qualifies to be submitted to the voters.
  8. H. A date shall be placed on the petition or on a certificate attached to the petition which shows the date the verification process was completed. Measures which qualify for placement on the ballot shall be certified by the Auditor as meeting the requirements of this chapter and shall be submitted to the Council for action as provided by 2.04.100. The Auditor shall certify to the County Elections Offices each measure which qualifies for placement on the ballot, unless the measure has been enacted by the Council.

2.04.100 Council Action; Competing Measure and Certification.

(Amended by Ordinance 177200, effective February 21, 2003.)

  1. A. The Auditor shall file with the Council each initiative and referendum measure submitted by the electors which qualifies for placement on the ballot for action by the Council as follows:
    1. 1. The Council may adopt an ordinance which codifies an initiative measure proposing a change to the City code. The Council shall act by a non-emergency ordinance not later than the 30th day after the measure has been certified by the Auditor for Council action and not later than the date the measure must be certified to the County for placement on the ballot. Approval of the ordinance shall void the initiative petition.
    2. 2. The Council may repeal an ordinance provision which is the subject of a referendum petition. The Council shall act by a non-emergency ordinance not later than the 30th day after the measure has been certified by the Auditor for Council action and not later than the date the measure must be certified to the County for placement on the ballot. Repeal of the referred ordinance provision shall void the referendum petition.
  2. B. All measures involving charter language which qualify for placement on the ballot shall be submitted to the voters.
  3. C. The Council may refer a competing measure, however, it shall prepare the measure not later than the 30th day after the measure has been filed with the Auditor for signature verification.

2.04.110 Measures Proposed by the Charter Commission.

(Added by Ordinance 184947, effective November 18, 2011.)

  1. A.   Preparation of Ballot Title
    1. 1.   When a measure proposing a charter amendment is supported by an affirmative vote of at least 15 members of the Charter Commission after a public hearing process prescribed by the Council:
      1. a.  The Commission shall notify the Auditor and submit to the Auditor the text of a proposed measure.
      2. b.  Within seven business days after submission of the proposed measure to the Auditor, the Auditor shall file the measure as a report from the Charter Commission to the Council and place it on the Council agenda.
      3. c.  Within two business days after the Charter Commission presents the measure to the Council at a Council meeting, the Auditor shall forward the measure to the City Attorney for preparation of a ballot title and explanatory statement in conformance with the requirements of state law. 
      4. d.  Within five business days after receiving the measure from the Auditor, the City Attorney shall prepare and transmit to the Auditor the ballot title and explanatory statement.
      5. e.  After receiving the ballot title, the Auditor shall publish in the next available edition of a newspaper of general circulation in the City, a notice of receipt of the ballot title, that an elector may file a petition for review of the ballot title, and the date by which the appeal must be filed.
      6. f.  Following completion of the ballot title challenge process, the Auditor shall file the measure, ballot title and explanatory statement with county elections officers.
      7. g.  A measure shall be considered referred under this Section as soon as the measure is certified to the ballot. The measure shall be placed on the next primary or general election ballot that is at least 120 days after the date the Charter Commission presents the measure to Council. As part of its affirmative vote supporting a measure, the Charter Commission may specify whether the measure shall be submitted to the voters at the primary election or at the general election.

2.04.120 Measures Referred by the Council.

(Amended by Ordinance 177200, effective February 21, 2003.)

  1. A. Preparation of Ballot Title and Resolution; Effective Date.
    1. 1. Prior to final Council action on a measure to be referred to the electors, an elected City official shall submit a resolution and ballot title to the Council Clerk for placement on the Council agenda. The ballot title may be prepared by:
      1. a. the City Attorney at the request of the Council or elected official;
      2. b. the Council; or
      3. c. an elected City official.
    2. If the City Attorney is asked by the Council or an elected official to prepare the ballot title and resolution, the ballot title and resolution shall be transmitted to the Council or elected official within five business days of the request, unless a longer time period is specified by the Council or elected official.
    3. 2. The ballot title shall comply with the requirements of Section 2.04.060 B.
    4. 3. A measure shall be placed on the ballot if the Council enacts a resolution directing that a measure be placed on the ballot.
    5. 4. A measure shall be considered referred under this section as of the date the Council adopts the resolution directing placement of the measure on the ballot.
  2. B. Publication. Upon referral of the measure as outlined in Section 2.04.120 A., the Auditor shall publish in the next available edition of a newspaper of general circulation in the City, a notice of receipt of the ballot title, that an elector may file a petition for review of the ballot title, and the date by which the appeal must be filed.
  3. C. Legal Challenge to Ballot Title. A ballot title adopted by Council may be challenged as provided by state law.

2.04.125 Advisory Questions Referred by Council.

(Added by Ordinance 177200, effective February 21, 2003.)

  1. A. Preparation of Ballot Title and Resolution; Effective Date.
    1. 1. Prior to final Council action on an advisory question to be referred to the electors, an elected City official shall submit a resolution and ballot title to the Council Clerk for placement on the Council agenda. The ballot title may be prepared by:
      1. a. the City Attorney at the request of the Council or elected official;
      2. b. the Council; or
      3. c. an elected City official.
    2. If the City Attorney is asked by the Council or an elected official to prepare the ballot title and resolution, the ballot title and resolution shall be transmitted to the Council or elected official within five business days of the request, unless a longer time period is specified by the Council or elected official.
    3. 2. The ballot title shall comply with the requirements of Section 2.04.060 B.
    4. 3. An advisory question shall be placed on the ballot if the Council enacts a resolution directing that a measure be placed on the ballot.
    5. 4. An advisory question shall be considered referred under this Section as of the date the Council adopts the resolution directing placement of the question on the ballot.
  2. B. Publication. Upon referral of the measure as outlined in Section 2.04.125 A, the Auditor shall publish in the next available edition of a newspaper of general circulation in the City, a notice of receipt of ballot title, that an elector may file a petition for review of the ballot title, and the date by which the appeal must be filed.
  3. C. Legal Challenge to Ballot Title. A ballot title adopted by Council may be challenged as provided by state law.

2.04.130 Election Dates; Special Election.

(Amended by Ordinance 177200, effective February 21, 2003.)

  1. A. An initiative measure shall be placed on the ballot at the primary or general election date specified on the petition.
  2. B. A referendum measure shall be placed on the ballot at the next primary or general election unless the Council finds that the public interest in a prompt resolution of the question outweighs the costs associated with a special election. If the Council chooses not to place the matter on the ballot at the next primary or general election, the Council may call for a special election at the next available date or call for a special election at an election date when other measures are on the ballot thus reducing the cost.
  3. C. A measure or advisory question referred by Council shall be placed on the election ballot specified in the resolution directing the measure or question to be referred to the voters. This shall be a primary or general election date, unless the Council finds that the public interest in a prompt resolution of the question outweighs the costs associated with a special election. If the Council chooses not to place the matter on the ballot at the next primary or general election, the Council may call for a special election at the next available date or call for a special election at an election date when other measures are on the ballot thus reducing the cost. If no date is specified in the Council resolution, the measure shall be placed on the ballot at the next available primary or general election.

2.04.140 Ballot Designations.

(Amended by Ordinance 177200 and 184947, effective November 18, 2011.)

  1. Measures referred by the Council shall be designated on the ballot “Referred to the People by the City Council.”
  2. B.  Advisory questions referred by the Council shall be designated on the ballot "Advisory Question Referred to the People by the City of Portland."
  3. C.  Measures proposed by referendum petition shall be designated on the ballot “Referred by Petition of the People.”
  4. D.  Measures proposed by initiative petition shall be designated on the ballot “Proposed by Initiative Petition.”
  5. E.  Measures proposed by the Charter Commission supported by an affirmative vote of at least 15 members of the Charter Commission shall be designated on the ballot “Referred to the People by the Charter Commission.”

2.04.150 Computation of the Vote.

(Amended by Ordinance 177200, effective February 21, 2003.)

  1. A. No measure shall be adopted unless it receives an affirmative majority of the total number of votes.
  2. B. A measure that falls under the requirements of Article 11, Section11 (8) of the Oregon Constitution shall be adopted only if it receives an affirmative majority of the total number of votes and:
    1. 1. At least 50 percent of registered voters of the City cast a ballot; or
    2. 2. The election is a general election in an even-numbered year.
  3. C. If there are two or more measures on the ballot on the same subject or containing conflicting provisions, the measure receiving the greatest number of affirmative votes shall be the measure adopted.

2.04.160 Effective Date.

(Amended by Ordinances 177200 and 191060, effective December 2, 2022. Corrected under authority of PCC Section 1.01.035 on January 10, 2022.)

  1. A. The Auditor shall submit the abstract of votes for each measure from the County Elections Office to the Council within 12 business days after receipt of the abstract from the County. The Mayor shall issue a proclamation giving the number of votes cast for or against a measure and declare the approved measure as the law on the effective date of the measure. If two or more approved measures contain conflicting provisions, the Mayor shall proclaim which is paramount, as provided by Subsection 2.04.150 C.
  2. B. An initiative or referendum measure adopted by the electors shall take effect upon proclamation by the Mayor unless the measure expressly provides a different effective date.

2.04.170 Computation of Dates.

(Repealed by Ordinance 177200, effective February 21, 2003.)

Chapter 2.08 Election of Candidates

(Chapter replaced by Ordinance 191244, effective May 19, 2023.)

2.08.010 Definitions.

  1. A. “Active ballot” means any ballot that is not an inactive ballot.
  2. B. “Active candidate” means any candidate who has not been defeated or elected.
  3. C. “City elections officer” means the city official in charge of elections for the City of Portland.
  4. D. “County elections officer” means the county clerk or the county official in charge of elections for a particular county.
  5. E. “District” means one of the four geographic areas within the City of Portland where voters vote to fill three Councilor seats.
  6. F. “Elector” means an individual qualified to vote under Section 2, Article II, Oregon Constitution.
  7. G. “Highest-ranked active candidate” means the active candidate a voter has assigned to a higher ranking than any other active candidate in the contest being tallied, excluding overvotes. Overvotes do not indicate a clear and unmistakable ranking for any particular candidate. Therefore, an overvote may not be interpreted as a ranking of any of the overvoted candidates.
  8. H. “Inactive ballot” means a ballot that, in any round of tabulation, does not count for any candidate. A ballot becomes inactive for the contest being tallied at the point any one of the following is true:
    1. 1. In any round after the first round, the ballot no longer contains any votes for any active candidates for the contest being tallied.
    2. 2. In any round, the ballot has reached an overvote for the contest being tallied and there are no lower-ranked active candidates on the ballot that are not also overvotes.
  9. I. “Overvote” means a voter has ranked more than one candidate at the same ranking in the same contest. For example, a ballot has an overvote if a voter assigns two candidates the number 1 ranking in the same contest.
  10. J. “Ranking” is the number available to be assigned by a voter to a candidate to express the voter’s choice for that candidate. The number 1 is the highest available ranking, followed by 2, and then 3 and so on.
  11. K. “Skipped ranking” means a voter has left a ranking or multiple consecutive rankings unassigned in a contest but ranked a candidate at a subsequent ranking in that contest. For example, a ballot has a skipped ranking if a voter assigns a candidate the number 1 ranking, skips the number 2 ranking, and assigns a candidate the number 3 ranking. A ballot also has a skipped ranking if a voter assigns a candidate the number 1 ranking, skips the number 2 and number 3 rankings, and assigns a candidate the number 4 ranking.
  12. L. “Undervote” means a ballot that does not contain a marking for any candidate at any ranking in a contest. For example, a ballot has an undervote for the mayoral contest if a voter does not rank any candidate for Mayor.

2.08.020 City Offices.

  1. A. All elective city offices are nonpartisan. No reference to any political party affiliation will be included in any declaration of candidacy, nominating petition, notice, voters’ pamphlet, ballot or other elections publication concerning a city candidate.
  2. B. The Mayor, Auditor and Councilors are elected subject to Charter Chapter 3, Article 1 and this Chapter. Vacancies are filled subject to Charter Section 2-206 and this Chapter.
  3. C. The Mayor and the Auditor are elected at-large using a method of ranked choice voting known as instant runoff voting. Councilors of each district are elected using a proportional method of ranked choice voting known as single transferable vote, except that, in any election to fill a single Councilor vacancy in a district, the method of instant runoff voting is used.

2.08.030 Ranked Choice Voting.

  1. A. General Provisions.
    1. 1. Ranking Choices. Except as otherwise provided in this Section, voters may rank six candidates. Voters may rank fewer candidates if they prefer. When the total number of filed candidates and write-in lines for a contest is less than six, the number of available rankings will equal that total, unless the voting equipment can only accommodate a lower number of rankings as described in Subsections a. and b. below. For example, in a mayoral contest with three filed candidates, a voter may rank up to four candidates (three filed candidates plus one write-in candidate).
      1. a. Election Administered by Single County. If a city candidate election is administered by a single county elections officer, and that officer determines the voting equipment cannot accommodate six rankings on the ballot, the number of candidates a voter may rank for that election will be the maximum number that the officer determines can be accommodated by the voting equipment, except that if the maximum number is greater than the total number of filed candidates and write-in lines for a contest, the number of available rankings in that contest will equal that total.
      2. b. Election Administered by Multiple Counties. If a city candidate election is administered by county elections officers in more than one county, and one or more officers determines the voting equipment cannot accommodate six rankings on the ballot, the number of candidates a voter may rank for that election will be the maximum number that can be accommodated by the voting equipment that can accommodate the lowest maximum number of rankings, except that if the maximum number is greater than the total number of filed candidates and write-in lines for a contest, the number of available rankings in that contest will equal that total.
    2. 2. Write-ins. Voters may rank write-in candidates. Voters are given as many write-in lines as there are seats to fill in the contest. For example, in a contest to fill three Councilor seats in the same district, voters will be provided three write-in candidate lines.
    3. 3. Skipped Rankings. In the event of a skipped ranking, the voter’s vote is transferred to the next highest-ranked active candidate on the voter’s ballot after the skipped ranking, if any.
    4. 4. Overvote. If a ballot contains an overvote, the voter’s vote is transferred to the next highest-ranked active candidate on the voter’s ballot, if any.
    5. 5. Inactive Ballots and Undervotes. In any round of tabulation, an inactive ballot does not count for any candidate. An undervote does not count as an active or inactive ballot in any round of tabulation. 
    6. 6. Elimination Ties. If two or more candidates are tied with the fewest votes in a round, and tabulation cannot continue until the candidate with the fewest votes is defeated, then the candidate to be defeated is determined by lot by the county elections officer or officers responsible for tabulating the contest. The result of the tie resolution must be recorded and reused in the event of a recount.
  2. B. Instant Runoff Form of Ranked Choice Voting (For Mayor, Auditor, and Single Councilor).
    1. 1. Application. The instant runoff form of ranked choice voting is used in contests for Mayor and Auditor and in any contest to fill a single Councilor vacancy in a district.
    2. 2. Tabulation. Each active ballot counts as one vote for the highest-ranked active candidate. If a candidate receives a majority of votes after the initial round of tabulation, that candidate is declared elected. “Majority of votes” means, for each round being tabulated, more than 50 percent of votes cast on active ballots for active candidates in that round. If no candidate receives a majority of votes after the initial round of tabulation, subsequent rounds are tabulated as follows:
      1. a. If no candidate has a majority of votes, the active candidate with the fewest votes is defeated and the non-defeated active candidates retain the number of votes counted for them in any prior round. Each vote on a ballot that was counted for a defeated candidate in the prior round is then transferred to the next highest-ranked active candidate on that voter’s ballot that is not an overvote, if any.
      2. b. If, after this transfer of votes, any candidate has a majority of votes, that candidate is declared elected. If no candidate has a majority of votes, a new round begins with Subsection a.
  3. C. Single Transferable Vote Form of Ranked Choice Voting (For Multiple Councilors).
    1. 1. Application. The single transferable vote form of ranked choice voting is used in any contest to fill multiple Councilor seats in the same district.
    2. 2. Tabulation. Each active ballot counts, at its current transfer value, for the highest-ranked active candidate. “Transfer value” means the proportion of a vote that an active ballot contributes to its highest-ranked active candidate. Each active ballot begins with a transfer value of 1. If an active ballot contributes to the election of a candidate, it receives a new transfer value (as calculated in Subsection b.(1) below). Tabulation for each contest proceeds in rounds as follows: 
      1. a. If the number of elected candidates is equal to the number of seats to be filled in a contest, tabulation for that contest is complete. Alternatively, if the number of elected candidates plus the number of active candidates is less than or equal to the number of seats to be filled, then all active candidates are declared elected and tabulation is complete. Otherwise, the tabulation proceeds pursuant to Subsection b.
      2. b. If any active candidate has a number of votes greater than or equal to the contest’s election threshold, that candidate is declared elected. “Election threshold” means the number of votes sufficient for a candidate to be elected in a multi-winner contest conducted by single transferable vote. The election threshold equals the total votes on active ballots counted for active candidates in the first round of tabulation, divided by the sum of one plus the number of seats to be elected, then adding one, and disregarding any fractions.
      3.                                         (Total Votes Counted)      
        Election Threshold =     (Seats to be Elected + 1)     + 1, disregarding any fractions
        1. (1) Each ballot counting for an elected candidate is assigned a new transfer value by multiplying the ballot’s current transfer value by the surplus fraction for the elected candidate, with the result truncated after four decimal places. “Surplus fraction” is calculated by subtracting the election threshold (“T”) from an elected candidate’s vote total (“V”), then dividing that number by that elected candidate’s vote total, and then truncating that number after four decimal places, where the candidate’s “vote total” is the total transfer value of all ballots counting for a candidate in a round of tabulation.
        2.                                 (V − T) 
          Surplus Fraction =    V
        3. (2) After determining the active ballots’ new transfer value in accordance with Subsection (1) above, the active ballots cast for any candidate elected under this Subsection b. are then transferred at their current transfer value to those ballots’ next highest-ranked active candidate, if any. If two or more candidates have more votes than the election threshold for the contest in the same round, their surpluses are transferred simultaneously. 
        4. (3) For the purpose of tabulating future rounds, a candidate elected under this Subsection shall be considered to have a number of votes equal to the election threshold in all future rounds.
        5. (4) If one or more candidates is elected under this Subsection b., a new round begins pursuant to Subsection a. If no candidate is elected under this Subsection b., the tabulation proceeds pursuant to Subsection c.
      4. c. If no candidate is elected pursuant to Subsection b., the candidate with the fewest votes is defeated and votes for the defeated candidate are transferred at their current transfer value to each ballot’s next highest-ranked active candidate and a new round begins pursuant to Subsection a.

2.08.040 Qualifications of Candidates.

  1. A. Eligible electors filing for city offices must meet the qualifications described in Charter Section 2-202. Eligible electors filing for the city office of Auditor must also meet the qualifications described in Charter Section 2-502.
  2. B. The city elections officer will reject a filing for candidacy if the city elections officer finds that the candidate would be unable to qualify for the office if elected, or if the filing does not comply with the law in any other way.

2.08.050 Filing as a Candidate.

  1. A. An eligible elector may become a candidate for office by filing a declaration of candidacy accompanied by a filing fee, by filing a nominating petition, or by certifying the elector’s candidacy as a write-in.
  2. B. A declaration of candidacy or a nominating petition must be filed within the time set by state law.

2.08.060 Candidacy by Declaration.

  1. A. An eligible elector may file a declaration of candidacy with a filing fee. The filing fee will be set by administrative rule.
  2. B. The city elections officer will provide a declaration of candidacy consistent with state law.

2.08.070 Candidacy by Nominating Petition.

A. As an alternative method of filing without the expense of the filing fee, an eligible elector may file a nominating petition.

B. The city elections officer will provide a nominating petition consistent with state law.

2.08.080 Candidacy by Certification as Write-in.

  1. By no later than 7 calendar days before the date of an election, an eligible elector wishing to run as a write-in candidate in that election must submit to the city elections officer, on a form provided by the city elections officer, a certification that the potential candidate meets the necessary qualifications for the city office and will serve if elected. No later than 4 calendar days before the date of an election, the city shall provide the county elections officer or officers with a list of any write-in candidates that the city determines meet the qualifications for a contest, and individual write-in votes will be counted only for write-in candidates on that list.

2.08.090 Candidate Withdrawal.

  1. A candidate who has filed a declaration of candidacy or nominating petition may withdraw if the withdrawal is made by the deadline set by state law and the withdrawal is made on a form provided by the city elections officer and signed by the candidate under oath. If the withdrawal is filed before the state deadline, the city elections officer will refund any filing fee.

2.08.100 Register of Candidates.

  1. The city elections officer keeps a register of candidates. The register contains the title of each office, the name and residence mailing address of each candidate relevant filing dates, and other information to provide county elections officers with information for the ballot.

2.08.110 Tie Vote.

  1. The outcome of a tie vote is determined by state law.

2.08.120 Recall.

  1. A recall is conducted consistent with state law.

Chapter 2.09 Accessibility of Candidate Debates and Forums

(Chapter added by Ordinance 190598, effective December 10, 2021.)

2.09.005 Short Title.

  1. Chapter 2.09 of the Portland City Code shall be known as Accessibility of Candidate Debates and Forums.

2.09.010 Election Event Accessibility.

  1. A.  If a debate or forum for candidates running for City Office is open to the general public, the debate or forum must be accessible.
  2. B.  Candidates for City office may participate in candidate debates and forums that are open to the general public if that debate or forum is accessible.
  3. C.  If a debate or forum is hosted at a physical location, accessible means wheelchair accessible and reasonable provision of the following upon request, if the request is made at least 10 business days prior to the event or at least 2 business days prior to the event if the event is first publicized fewer than 12 business days in advance: language services, as defined in administrative rules; removing physical barriers; providing modifications, accommodations, alternative formats, auxiliary aids, or other services that ensure access. If a debate or forum is hosted remotely, accessible means providing language services and any other reasonable accommodation requested at least 10 business days prior to the event or at least 2 business days prior to the event if the event is first publicized fewer than 12 business days in advance.

Chapter 2.10 Campaign Finance in Candidate Elections

(Chapter added by Ordinance 189348, effective January 16, 2019.)

2.10.010 Contributions in City of Portland Candidate Elections.

  1. A.  An Individual or Entity may make Contributions only as specifically allowed to be received in this Chapter.
  2. B.  A Candidate or Candidate Committee may receive only the following Contributions during any Election Cycle:
    1. 1.  Not more than $500 from an Individual or a Political Committee other than a Small Donor Committee;
    2. 2.  Any amount from a qualified Small Donor Committee;
    3. 3.  A loan balance of not more than $5,000 from the Candidate;
    4. 4.  No amount from any other Entity, except as provided in Section 2.10.040.
  3. C.  Individuals shall have the right to make Contributions by payroll deduction by any private or public employer upon the employer’s agreement or if such deduction is available to the employees for any other purpose.

2.10.020 Expenditures in City of Portland Candidate Elections.

  1. A.  No Individual or Entity shall expend funds to support or oppose a Candidate, except those collected from the sources and under the Contribution limits set forth in this Chapter.
  2. B.  An Entity shall register with the Oregon Secretary of State as a Political Committee under Oregon law within 3 business days of making aggregate Independent Expenditures exceeding $750 in any Election Cycle to support or oppose one or more Candidates in any City of Portland Candidate Election.
  3. C.  Only the following Independent Expenditures are allowed per Election Cycle to support or oppose one or more Candidates in any particular City of Portland Candidate Election:
    1. 1.  An Individual may make aggregate Independent Expenditures of not more than $5,000.
    2. 2.  A Small Donor Committee may make Independent Expenditures in any amounts from funds contributed in compliance with Section 2.10.010.
    3. 3.  A Political Committee may make aggregate Independent Expenditures of not more than $10,000, provided that the Independent Expenditures are funded by means of Contributions to the Political Committee by Individuals in amounts not exceeding $500 per Individual per year.

2.10.030 Timely Disclosure of Large Contributions and Expenditures.

  1. A.  Each Communication to voters related to a City of Portland Candidate Election shall Prominently Disclose the true original sources of the Contributions and/or Independent Expenditures used to fund the Communication, including:
    1. 1.  The names of any Political Committees and other Entities that have paid to provide or present it; and
    2. 2.  For each of the five Dominant Contributors providing the largest amounts of funding to each such Political Committee or Entity in the current Election Cycle:
      1. a.  The name of the Individual or Entity providing the Contribution.
      2. b.  The types of businesses from which the maker of the Contribution has obtained a majority of income over the previous 5 years, with each business identified by the name associated with its 6-digit code of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).
    3. 3.  For each of the largest five Dominant Independent Spenders paying to provide or present it:
      1. a.  The name of the Individual or Entity providing the Independent Expenditure.
      2. b.  The types of businesses from which the maker of the Independent Expenditure has obtained a majority of income over the previous 5 years, with each business identified by the name associated with its 6-digit code of the NAICS.
  2. B.  If any of the five largest Dominant Contributors or Dominant Independent Spenders is a Political Committee (other than a Small Donor Committee) or nonprofit organization, the prominent disclosure shall include its top three funders during the current Election Cycle.
  3. C.  The disclosure shall be current to within 10 business days of the printing of printed material or within 5 business days of the transmitting of a video or audio communication.

2.10.040 Coordination with Public Funding of Campaigns.

  1. A Candidate participating in a government system of public funding of campaigns (including the Open and Accountable Elections Fund established under Portland City Code Chapter 2.16) may receive any amount that such system allows a participating candidate to receive.

2.10.050 Implementation and Enforcement.

  1. A.  The provisions of this Chapter shall take effect on September 1, 2019.
  2. B.  Each violation of any provision in this Chapter shall be punishable by imposition of a civil fine which is not less than 2 nor more than 20 times the amount of the unlawful Contribution or Expenditure or Independent Expenditure at issue.
  3. C.  Any person may file a written complaint of a violation of any provision in this Chapter with the City Auditor.
  4. D.  The City Auditor, otherwise having reason to believe that a violation of any provision has occurred, shall issue a complaint regarding such violation.
  5. E.  Upon receipt or issuance of a complaint, the City Auditor:
    1. 1.  Shall examine the complaint to determine whether a violation has occurred and shall make any investigation necessary.
    2. 2.  Within 2 business days of receiving or issuing a complaint, shall issue a notification, including a copy of the complaint, to every person who is the object of the complaint.
    3. 3.  Shall accept written materials supporting or opposing the complaint for a period of 10 business days following any such notification.
    4. 4.  Shall render a decision on the complaint within 10 business days of the close of the material submission period.
  6. F.  If the complaint is received or issued within 30 calendar days of the date of the election involving the object of the complaint, then all time periods stated in Subsections 2.10.050 E.3. and 2.10.050 E.4. shall be reduced by one-half.
  7. G.  The City Auditor may issue subpoenas to compel the production of records, documents, books, papers, memoranda or other information necessary to determine compliance with the provisions of this Chapter.
  8. H.  Upon finding a violation of the requirement for timely disclosure set forth in Section 2.10.030, the City Auditor shall determine the true original sources of the Contributions and/or Independent Expenditures used to fund the Communication at issue and shall immediately issue a statement to all interested parties and news organizations containing all of the information about the involved donor(s) required by Section 2.10.030.
  9. I.  The complainant or any person who is the object of the complaint may, within 30 calendar days of the issuance of the decision, appeal that order to the appropriate Circuit Court as an agency order in other than a contested case.
  10. J.  The decision in the matter shall be deemed final, following completion of any judicial review. Such decision shall be enforced by the City of Portland. If the decision is not enforced within 30 calendar days of the decision becoming final, the complainant may bring a civil action in a representative capacity for the collection of the applicable civil penalty, payable to the City of Portland, and for any appropriate equitable relief.

2.10.060 Adjustments.

  1. All dollar amounts shall be adjusted on January 1 of each odd-numbered year to reflect an appropriate measure of price inflation, rounded to the nearest dollar.

2.10.070 Severability.

  1. For the purpose of determining constitutionality, every section, subsection and subdivision thereof of this Section, at any level of subdivision, shall be evaluated separately. If any section, subsection or subdivision at any level is held invalid, the remaining sections, subsections and subdivisions shall not be affected and shall remain in full force and effect. The courts shall sever those sections, subsections and subdivisions necessary to render this Section consistent with the United States Constitution and with the Oregon Constitution. Each section, subsection and subdivision thereof, at any level of subdivision, shall be considered severable, individually or in any combination.

2.10.080 Definitions.

  1. Unless otherwise indicated by the text or context of this Chapter, all terms shall have the definitions at Chapter 260 of Oregon Revised Statutes, as of January 1, 2018. Terms found therein or defined below are capitalized in this Chapter.
  2. A.  “Candidate” has the meaning set forth at ORS 260.005(1).
  3. B.  “Candidate Committee” has the meaning set forth at ORS 260.039 - 260.041, as of November 8, 2016, for the term “principal campaign committee.”
  4. C.  “City of Portland Candidate Election” means an election, including a primary election, to select persons to serve (or cease serving) in public offices of City of Portland.
  5. D.  “Communication” means any written, printed, digital, electronic or broadcast communications but does not include communication by means of small items worn or carried by Individuals, bumper stickers, Small Signs, or a distribution of 500 or fewer substantially similar pieces of literature within any 10 business-day period.
  6. E.  “Contribution” has the meaning set forth at ORS 260.005(3) and 260.007, as of November 8, 2016, except it does not include:
    1. 1.  Funds provided by government systems of public funding of campaigns; or
    2. 2.  Providing rooms, phones, and internet access for use by a candidate committee free or at a reduced charge.
  7. F.  “Dominant Contributor” means any Individual or Entity which contributes more than $1,000 during an Election Cycle to a Candidate Committee or Political Committee.
  8. G.  “Dominant Independent Spender” means any Individual or Entity which expends more than $1,000 during an Election Cycle to support or oppose a particular Candidate.
  9. H.  “Election Cycle” means:
    1. 1.  Generally, the period between an election at which a Candidate is elected and the next election for that same office, disregarding any intervening primary or nominating election, any recall election, or any special election called to fill a vacancy.
    2. 2.  For any recall election: the period beginning the day that the recall election is called or declared and ending at midnight of the day of the recall election.
    3. 3.  For any special election called to fill a vacancy: the period beginning the day that the special election is called or declared and ending at midnight of the day of the election.
  10. I.  “Entity” means any corporation, partnership, limited liability company, proprietorship, Candidate Committee, Political Committee, or other form of organization which creates an entity which is legally separate from an Individual.
  11. J.  “Expenditure” has the meaning set forth at ORS 260.005(8) and ORS 260.007, as of January 1, 2018, except that:
    1. 1.  It does not include a Communication to its members, and not to the public, by a Membership Organization not organized primarily for the purpose of influencing an election.
    2. 2.  The exception in ORS 260.007(7) does not apply.
  12. K.  “General Election Period” means the period beginning the day after the biennial primary election and ending the day of the biennial general election.
  13. L.  “Individual” means a citizen or resident alien of the United States entitled to vote in federal elections; however, when this Chapter expresses a limitation or prohibition, “Individual” means any human being.
  14. M.  “Membership Organization” means a nonprofit organization, not formed or operated for the purpose of conducting or promoting commercial enterprise, which has Individual members who have taken action to join the organization and have made a payment of money or volunteer time to maintain membership in the organization.
    1. 1.  It cannot have commercial enterprises as members.
    2. 2.  It can transfer to one and only one Small Donor Committee not more than 40 percent of the amount paid to the organization by each Individual member, with a limit of $100 transferred per Individual member per calendar year.
    3. 3.  It shall within 30 calendar days of any such transfer notify each paying member of the amount transferred, expressed in dollars or as a percentage of the member’s amount paid to the organization. Such notice may be provided by regular mail or electronic mail to each affected member or by posting the information on the organization’s main website. If the amount transferred is the same for each member or category of members (in dollars or in percentage of amount paid), the posting may state that amount or percentage without identifying individual members.
  15. N.  “Primary Election Period” means the period beginning on the 21st day after the preceding biennial general election and ending the day of the biennial primary election.
  16. O.  “Prominently Disclose” means that the disclosure shall be readily comprehensible to a person with average reading, vision, and hearing faculties, with:
    1. 1.  any printed disclosure appearing in a type of contrasting color and in the same or larger font size as used for the majority of text in the printed material;
    2. 2.  any video disclosure remaining reading on the regular screen (not closed captioning) for not less than 4 seconds;
    3. 3.  any auditory disclosure spoken at a maximum rate of 5 words per second;
    4. 4.  any website or email message in type of a contrasting color in the same or larger font size as used for the majority of text in the message;
    5. 5.  any billboard or sign other than a Small Sign: in type of a contrasting color and not smaller than 10 percent of the height of the billboard or sign.
  17. P.  “Small Donor Committee” means a Political Committee which has never accepted any Contributions except from Individuals in amounts limited to $100 per Individual contributor per calendar year.
  18. Q.  “Small Sign” means a sign smaller than 6 square feet.

Chapter 2.12 Regulation of Lobbying Entities

(Chapter added by Ordinance 179843, effective April 1, 2006.)

2.12.010 Purpose.

  1. The City finds that, to preserve the integrity of its decision making processes, lobbying entities that engage in efforts to influence City officials, should report their lobbying efforts to the public.

2.12.020 Definitions.

(Amended by Ordinances 180205, 180620, 180917, 181204, 182389, 182671, 184046, 184882, 185304, 186028, 186176, 189078, 189556, 190644191008, 191150 and 191736, effective July 1, 2024.)

  1. As used in this Chapter unless the context requires otherwise:
  2. A.  “Calendar quarter” means one of the four three-month periods of January 1 to March 31, April 1 to June 30, July 1 to September 30 and October 1 to December 31.
  3. B.  “Calendar year” means the period of January 1 through December 31.
  4. C.  “City director” means the director or individual in charge of the following or its successors: the Bureau of Transportation, the Office of Management and Finance, the Office of Government Relations, the Office of Community & Civic Life, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, the Bureau of Emergency Communications, Portland Fire & Rescue, the Bureau of Police, the Bureau of Parks and Recreation, the Bureau of Environmental Services, the Portland Water Bureau, the Portland Permitting & Development, the Portland Housing Bureau, the Bureau of Revenue and Financial Services, the City Budget Office, the Office of Equity and Human Rights, the Bureau of Fire and Police Disability and Retirement, the Bureau of Human Resources, the Bureau of Technology Services, the Division of Community Safety, Prosper Portland, Office for Community Technology, and IPR – Independent Police Review.
  5. D.  “City official” means any City elected official; the at will staff of a City elected official; any City director as defined in this section; or appointee to the Portland Development Commission, the Planning Commission, the Design Commission, and the Fire and Police Disability and Retirement Board.
  6. E.  “Consideration” includes a gift, payment, distribution, loan, advance or deposit of money or anything of value, and includes a contract, promise or agreement, whether or not legally enforceable.
  7. F.  “Official action” means introduction, sponsorship, testimony, debate, voting or any other official action on any ordinance, measure, resolution, amendment, nomination, appointment, or report, or any matter, including administrative action, that may be the subject of action by the City.
  8. G.  “Lobby” or “Lobbying” or “Lobbies” means attempting to influence the official action of City officials.  Lobbying includes time spent preparing emails and letters and preparing for oral communication with a City official.  Lobbying does not include:
    1. 1.  Time spent by an individual representing their own opinion to a City official.
    2. 2.  Time spent participating in a board, committee, working group, or commission created by City Council through approval of resolution or ordinance.
    3. 3.  Time spent by a City official or City employee acting in their official capacity as an official for the City.
    4. 4.  Time spent submitting a bid, responding to related information requests, and negotiating terms on a competitively bid contract or intergovernmental agreement.
    5. 5.  Oral or written communication made by a representative of a labor organization that is certified or recognized, pursuant to ORS 243.650 et seq., as the exclusive bargaining representative of employees of the City of Portland, to the extent that such communications do not deal with actual or potential ordinances that are unrelated to the collective bargaining process, or implementation or application of any collective bargaining agreement provision.
    6. 6.  Formal appearances to give testimony before public hearings or meetings of City Council.
    7. 7.  Work performed by a contractor or grantee pursuant to a contract with or grant from the City.
    8. 8.  Time spent by any person holding elected public office, or their specifically authorized representative, acting in their official capacity.
  9. H.  “Lobbying entity” means any individual, business association, corporation, partnership, association, club, company, business trust, organization or other group who lobbies either by employing or otherwise authorizing a lobbyist to lobby on that person’s behalf.
  10. I.  “Lobbyist” means any individual who is authorized to lobby on behalf of a lobbying entity.
  11. J.  “Person” means any individual, business association, corporation, partnership, association, club, company, business trust, organization or other group.
  12. K.  “Gift” means something of economic value given to a City official without valuable consideration of equivalent value, including the full or partial forgiveness of indebtedness, which is not extended to others who are not City officials on the same terms and conditions; and something of economic value given to a City official for valuable consideration less than that required from others who are not City officials.  However, “gift” does not mean:
    1. 1.  Campaign contributions, as described in ORS Chapter 260.
    2. 2.  Gifts from family members.

2.12.030 Registration for Lobbying Entities.

(Amended by Ordinances 180205, 181204 and 187854, effective September 1, 2016.)

  1. A.  Within three working days after a lobbying entity has spent 8 hours or more or estimates that it has spent cumulative 8 hours or more or has spent at least $1,000 during any calendar quarter lobbying, the lobbying entity shall register with the City Auditor by filing with the Auditor a statement containing the following information:
    1. 1.  The name, address, email, website and telephone number of the lobbying entity;
    2. 2.  A general description of the trade, business, profession or area of endeavor of the lobbying entity;
    3. 3.  The names, addresses, email, website and telephone number of all lobbyists who are employed by or otherwise authorized to lobby on behalf of the lobbying entity. The list must include:
      1. a.  Individuals who are paid to lobby for the interests of the lobbying entity.
      2. b.  Other persons, including lobbying entity employees or volunteers, who are authorized to lobby on behalf of the lobbying entity.
      3. c.  Previous City of Portland employment status of individuals who are paid or otherwise authorized to lobby on the entity’s behalf, the affiliated bureau(s) or office(s) of employment, and dates of employment.
    4. 4.  The subjects and any specific official actions of interest to the lobbying entity.
  2. B.  A business, organization, or association who anticipates registering as a lobbying entity is encouraged to register at the beginning of each calendar year.
  3. C.  Registrations shall expire December 31 of every year.  Lobbying entities shall renew their registrations once the 8-hour threshold has been reached in each calendar year.   
  4. D.  An authorized representative of the lobbying entity must sign the registration required by this Section.

2.12.040 Quarterly Reporting Requirements for Lobbying Entities.

(Amended by Ordinances 180205, 180620, 181204, 186176 and 187854, effective September 1, 2016.)

  1. A.  A lobbying entity registered with the City Auditor or required to register with the City Auditor shall file a report, if the lobbying entity has spent an estimated 8 hours or more or at least $1,000 during the preceding calendar quarter lobbying, with the City Auditor, by April 15, July 15, October 15, and January 15, showing:
    1. 1.  The specific subject or subjects of the official action of interest to the lobbying entity, including but not limited to the names of City officials a lobbying entity met with or contacted through direct mail, email or telephone regarding such subject or subjects, the name of the registered lobbyist representing the entity and the date of the contact
    2. 2.  A good faith estimate of total moneys, if the total exceeds $1,000, expended by the lobbying entity or any lobbyist employed by or otherwise authorized to lobby on behalf of the lobbying entity, for the purpose of lobbying City officials on behalf of the lobbying entity in the preceding calendar quarter reporting period for:
      1. a.  Food, refreshments, travel and entertainment;
      2. b.  Printing, postage and telephone;
      3. c.  Advertising, direct mail and email;
      4. d.  Miscellaneous and gifts;
      5. e.  Compensation paid to lobbyists; and
      6. f.  Reimbursements to lobbyists for their expenses.
    3. 3.  The name of any City official to whom or for whose benefit, on any one occasion, the lobbying entity made an expenditure in excess of $25 in the preceding calendar quarter for the purposes of lobbying, and the date, name of payee, purpose and amount of that expenditure.
  2. B.  Statements required by this section need not include amounts expended by the lobbying entity for personal living and travel expenses and office overhead, including salaries and wages paid for staff providing clerical assistance and others not engaged in lobbying activities and maintenance expenses. If the amount of any expenditure required to be included in a statement is not accurately known at the time the statement is required to be filed, an estimate of the expenditure shall be submitted in the statement and designated as an estimate. The exact amount expended for which a previous estimate was made shall be submitted in a subsequent report when the information is available.
  3. C.  A lobbying entity shall update any information submitted in Section 2.12.030 that has changed since registration.
  4. D.  A statement required by this section shall include a copy of any notice provided to a City official under ORS 244.100.
  5. E.  An authorized representative of the Lobbying Entity must sign the declaration required by Section 2.12.090 A. for each quarterly report.
  6. F.  Lobbying entities who expect to spend 8 hours or more lobbying City Officials in a calendar quarter, but do not anticipate spending over $1,000 in the same reporting period for the purpose of lobbying may sign and file a certificate of limited expenditure provided by the Auditor’s office in lieu of the financial portion of the quarterly report described in Section 2.10.040 A.2.  The certificate affirms that the lobbying entity will spend less than the threshold required for quarterly financial reporting of moneys expended under Section 2.12.040 A.2.  If a lobbying entity  that files a certificate of limited expenditure spends over $1,000 in a calendar quarter for the purpose of lobbying, the lobbying entity shall withdraw the certificate of limited expenditure and shall report moneys expended pursuant to Section 2.12.040 A.2.
  7. G.  A lobbying entity may amend a quarterly report without penalty if it files the amended report within 25 days after the end of the calendar quarter.

2.12.050 Exemptions to Registration and Reporting Requirements for Lobbying Entities.

(Amended by Ordinances 180620, 181204, 188286 and 189078, effective July 18, 2018.) 

  1. In addition to the thresholds set forth in Section 2.12.030 and 2.12.040 for the registration, reporting and financial reporting of lobbying entities, Sections 2.12.030 and 2.12.040 do not apply to the following persons:
  2. A.  News media, or their employees or agents, that in the ordinary course of business directly or indirectly urge official action but that engage in no other activities in connection with the official action.
  3. B.  Any lobbying entity that satisfies all three of the following requirements:
    1. 1.  Complies with state public record and meeting laws or with the standards referenced in Section 3.96.020 G.;
    2. 2.  Is classified as a non-profit organization, registered with the Oregon Secretary of State Corporation Division; and
    3. 3.  Is formally recognized by the Office of Community & Civic Life or through City Council resolution or ordinance.

2.12.060 Declaration Required by Lobbyists

(Amended by Ordinance 180205, effective June 7, 2006.) 

Prior to offering public testimony before City officials, at the beginning of any meetings or phone calls with City officials, or in emails and letters to City officials, a lobbyist must declare which lobbying entity he or she is authorized to represent for that communication.

2.12.070 Reporting Requirements for City Officials.

(Amended by Ordinances 180205, 180620, 187854 and 187961, effective September 1, 2016.)

  1. A.  City officials shall file written reports documenting any gifts, meals or entertainment in excess of $25 received from a lobbying entity, regardless of the entity’s registration status, or any person authorized to lobby on the lobbying entity’s behalf.  Such reports shall include:
    1. 1.  Name of lobbying entity, and if applicable, name of lobbyist;
    2. 2.  Subject of lobbying;
    3. 3.  Value of gift, meal or entertainment; and
    4. 4.  Date of receipt.
  2. B.  City officials shall file written reports after a lobbyist or lobbying entity, regardless of the entity’s registration status, has agreed to make a donation of personal or real property to the City. Such reports shall include:
    1. 1.  Name of lobbying entity, and if applicable, name of lobbyist;
    2. 2.  Gift or donation requested;
    3. 3.  Purpose of donation; and
    4. 4.  Date of request.
  3. C.  The reports, if any, required by subsections 2.12.070 A. and B. shall be filed with the City Auditor 15 days after the end of the calendar quarter.  City officials, other than elected officials, are not required to file reports with the Auditor if the amount of the gift, meal or entertainment is less than $25 or if no gifts or donations have been requested in the calendar quarter.
  4. D.  City Elected officials and City directors shall post their calendars of activities that reflect official City business 15 days after the end of the calendar quarter for the previous calendar quarter, unless an elected official or City director determines that such posting poses a safety threat.
    1. 1.  Unless otherwise exempted, calendars required by this Section shall note the date and length of scheduled official business that includes other City Elected officials, City directors or outside parties. Calendar items must list primary participants or organizations in attendance. 
    2. 2.  Elected officials’ and City directors’ quarterly calendars required by this Section shall be retained in accordance with City Administrative Rules and posted publicly on the originating office’s website for a period of at least one calendar year.
  5. E.  A City Official may amend a quarterly report without penalty if he or she files the amended report within 25 days after the end of the calendar quarter.

2.12.080 Prohibited Conduct.

(Amended by Ordinance 187854, effective September 1, 2016.)

  1. A.  No former City elected official shall, for a period of 2 years after the termination of the official’s term of office, lobby for money or other consideration a City elected official or their salaried at-will staff.
  2. B.   No former salaried at-will staff of a City elected official, shall, for a period of 1 year after the termination of employment, lobby for money or other consideration any City elected official or their salaried at-will staff.
  3. C.  No former City director shall, for a period of 2 years after termination of the director’s appointment, lobby for money or other consideration the current City director of the office or bureau to which the former City director was appointed or, regarding matters within the powers and duties of the bureau to which the former City director was appointed, the City elected official in charge of the office or bureau to which the City director was appointed. 
  4. D.  No Former City employee shall lobby a City Official for money or other consideration regarding a contract if the employee exercised contract management authority with respect to that contract while employed by the City. This prohibition shall be for the duration of the contract.
  5. E.  The prohibitions in this Section shall not apply to:
    1. 1.  Prevent any former City elected official or other City employee from representing himself or herself, or any member of his or her immediate family, in their individual capacities, in connection with any matter pending before the City;
    2. 2.  The activities of any former City elected official or other City employee who is an elected or appointed officer or employee of any public body, when that former City elected official or other City employee is solely representing that agency in his or her official capacity as an officer or employee of the public body;
    3. 3.  Any ministerial action.  For purposes of this subsection, a ministerial action is one that does not require a City official or other City employee to exercise discretion concerning any outcome or course of action.
    4. 4.  Prevent City officials or other City employees from seeking information or participation from former City elected officials or other City employees where the public interest would be served by the information or participation.

2.12.090 Verification of Reports, Registrations and Statements.

(Amended by Ordinance 181204, effective September 7, 2007.)

  1. A.  Each report, registration or statement required by this Chapter shall contain or be verified by a written or electronic declaration that it is made under the penalties of false swearing.  Such declaration shall be in lieu of any oath otherwise required.
  2. B.  No person shall willfully make and subscribe any document which contains or is verified by a written or electronic declaration for false swearing which the person does not reasonably believe to be true and correct to every matter.

2.12.100 Public Nature of Reports, Registrations and Statements.

(Amended by Ordinance 186176, effective August 30, 2013.)

  1. All information submitted to the City Auditor in any report, registration or statement required by this Chapter is a public record and will be posted on Office of the Auditor website within three business days after receipt, except if the information is subject to amendment under this Chapter, the Auditor will post the information within three business days after the amendment period has closed.

2.12.110 Auditor’s Duties.

(Amended by Ordinances 187854 and 188842, effective March 30, 2018.) 

  1. In carrying out the provisions of this Chapter, the City Auditor:
  2. A.  Shall prescribe forms for registrations, statements and reports, and provide such forms to persons required to register and to file such statements and reports;
  3. B.  Shall accept registrations and reports in an electronic format;
  4. C.  Shall accept and file any information voluntarily supplied that exceeds the requirements of this Chapter;
  5. D.  Shall make registrations, statements and reports filed available for public inspection and copying during regular office hours, and make copies available.  The Auditor may charge fees to recover the cost of retrieval and copying;
  6. E.  May audit whether registrations and reports required by this Chapter have been completed properly and within the time frames specified in this Chapter;
  7. F.   May initiate investigations and accept and investigate complaints of alleged violations of this Chapter;
  8. G.   May make such inquiries and obtain such reasonable assistance and information, including records, from any office or person as the Auditor shall require for enforcement purposes, including requests to produce documentary or other evidence that is reasonably relevant to the matters under investigation;
    1. 1.  For information and records sought from City offices, employees or officials, the Auditor or any agent or employee of the Auditor employed for the purpose of auditing or investigating the City may obtain confidential and legally privileged information and records held by the City so long as privilege is not waived as to third parties. The Auditor shall not disclose confidential or legally privileged information and records and shall be subject to the same penalties as the legal custodian of records for any unlawful or unauthorized disclosure.
  9. H.  May recover all reasonable costs incurred in enforcement in this Chapter, including but not limited to attorney’s fees.
  10. I.  Is authorized to adopt administrative rules to carry out the duties and to administer the provisions of this Chapter.

2.12.120 Penalties.

(Amended by Ordinances 187854 and 188842, effective March 30, 2018.) 

  1. A person who violates any provision of this Chapter or fails to file any report, registration or statement or to furnish any information required by this Chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $3,000 per violation.  By administrative rule, the Auditor shall establish enforcement criteria with increased fines for repeated violations.  In the name of the City, the Auditor may seek civil penalties and enforcement of any provision of this Chapter in Multnomah County Circuit Court or other appropriate venue. The Auditor may bring such an action through independent legal counsel retained or employed by the Auditor, or may request that the City Attorney provide such representation.

2.12.130 Severability.

  1. If any provision of this Chapter, or its application to any person or circumstance, is held invalid by any court, the remainder of this Chapter and its application to other persons and circumstances, other than that which has been held invalid, shall not be affected by such invalidity, and to that extent the provisions of this Chapter are declared to be severable.

Chapter 2.14 Reporting by Political Consultants

(Chapter added by Ordinance 187689, effective May 20, 2016.  Implementation date September 1, 2016.)

2.14.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this Chapter is to improve transparency by requiring Political Consultants advising City elected officials to meet certain registration and reporting requirements.

2.14.020 Definitions.

  1. As used in this Chapter unless the context requires otherwise:
  2. A.  “City elected official” means the Mayor, City Commissioners, or Auditor.
  3. B.  “Day” means a calendar day by 5 p.m. unless “business day” is specified.  If the computed date for action falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal City holiday, then the “day” shall be the next business day by 5 p.m.
  4. C.  “Political Consultant” means a person or entity that provides Political Consulting Services to a City elected official or successful candidate for elected office, or a successful candidate’s principal campaign committee, registered with the Oregon Secretary of State. The term “Political Consultant” does not include attorneys who provide only legal services, accountants who provide only accounting services, professional fundraisers, or pollsters who provide only polling services.  The term “Political Consultant” does not include a person who
    1. 1.  Does not engage in Political Consulting Services as a trade or profession, or
    2. 2.  Is a City employee.
  5. D.  “Political Consulting Services” include actions in campaign management and political strategy services, including but not limited to: advocacy and strategy; political polling; advising or assisting in voter contact strategies and services; advising in media strategy, buying and advertisement; providing candidate development, policy training, political image consulting, and designing, implementing and analyzing polls and surveys; performing issues research and opposition research; developing, assisting in strategic communication such as news releases, talking points and speech writing; and advising on negative information handling and political crisis management.  This Chapter does not regulate the content and viewpoint of the services provided to a City elected official.

2.14.030 Registration for Political Consultants.

  1. A.  Within 15 days after providing any Political Consulting Services to a City elected official, a Political Consultant must register with the City Auditor.
    1. 1.  The registration must include at least the following information:
      1. a.  The name, address and contact information of the Political Consultant, including the organization, if applicable, with which the Political Consultant is associated and the address and contact information of that organization if different than that of the Political Consultant. 
      2. b.  If the Political Consultant is an entity, the names, addresses and contact information of principals, employees and contractors that provide Political Consulting Services to a City elected official. 
      3. c.  If an entity registers, the individual employees or contractors of the entity do not need to register separately.
    2. 2.  The name of the City elected official to whom the Political Consultant provides Political Consulting Services, and the date when services commenced.  If services are provided in support of a City referred measure under Chapter 2.08, then the name, address and contact information for the lead representative for the measure, and the date when services commenced.
  2. B.  A Political Consultant must file an updated statement within 15 days if any previously reported information changes.
  3. C.  If a person for whom Political Consulting Services has been provided later becomes a City elected official, a Political Consultant must file a statement as required by this Section within 15 days from certification of election results.

2.14.040 Termination of Registration.

  1. When a Political Consultant who is required to register under this Chapter later terminates all Political Consulting Services to a City elected official, the Political Consultant shall file a termination statement on the form required by the City Auditor within 15 days of service termination.

2.14.050 Quarterly Reporting by City Elected Official.

  1. A.  A City elected official shall file a statement with the City Auditor identifying the Political Consultant who provides or provided services to the City elected official, and the date when services commenced.   If a City elected official sponsors a City referred measure under Chapter 2.04, the City elected official shall identify the measure and the Political Consultant that will perform or performed Political Consulting Services for the measure.  Sponsorship of a City referred measure by a City elected official shall be determined by the City elected official who signed a resolution filed pursuant to Chapter 2.04.
  2. B.  The statement in this Section shall be filed with the City Auditor 15 days after the end of the calendar quarter as proscribed in Subsection 2.12.020 A.
  3. C.  Amendments to statements submitted under this Section may be made without penalty within 25 days after the end of the calendar quarter.
  4. D.  The City elected official shall file an updated statement within 15 days of change of any information reported.
  5. E.  If a person through election becomes a City elected official, the person shall file the statement required in this Section at the next quarterly reporting period that follows certification of elections results.  If a person is appointed to the position of City elected official pursuant to Charter Section 2-206, the person shall file the statement required in this Section at the next quarterly reporting period following appointment.

2.14.060 Public Nature of Reports and Registrations.

  1. All information submitted to the City Auditor in any statement required by this Chapter will be posted on the City Auditor’s website within 3 business days after the receipt, except if the information is subject to amendment under this Chapter, the Auditor will post the information within 3 business days after the amendment period has closed.

2.14.070 Prohibited Conduct.

  1. A.  A City elected official shall not knowingly utilize a Political Consultant who is in violation of this Chapter.
  2. B.  A Political Consultant shall not provide Political Consulting Services without reporting as required under this Chapter.
  3. C.  No person shall submit false, fraudulent or misleading information on statements, including but not limited to misrepresenting the scope or nature of services provided or the identity of clients to whom services are provided.

2.14.080 City Auditor’s Duties.

(Amended by Ordinance 188842, effective March 30, 2018.) 

  1. The City Auditor is authorized to adopt, amend and repeal administrative rules, policies, procedures and forms for the regulation and enforcement of this Chapter, including but not limited to prescribing forms for registration and reporting, determining the method for filing, conducting appropriate inquiry and audit of reports or statements for completeness and accuracy, establishing fees for late filing or non-filing, and imposing civil penalties for non-compliance.
  2. For information and records sought from City offices, employees or officials, the Auditor or any employee or agent of the Auditor employed for the purpose of auditing or investigating the City may obtain confidential and legally privileged information and records held by the City so long as privilege is not waived as to third parties. The Auditor shall not disclose confidential or legally privileged information and records and shall be subject to the same penalties as the legal custodian of records for any unlawful or unauthorized disclosure.

2.14.090 Penalties for Violation of this Chapter.

  1. A.  A person who fails to report as required by this Chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty and other administrative sanctions until the registration or reporting is complete and in compliance with this Chapter.
  2. B.  A person who provides false or misleading information may be subject to a civil penalty and other administrative sanctions.
  3. C.  A person who violates any section of this Chapter may be subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation.

2.14.100 Enforcement.

(Amended by Ordinance 188842, effective March 30, 2018.) 

  1. If facts supporting an enforcement action exist, the City Auditor, in the name of the City, may initiate action in Multnomah County Circuit Court to enforce the provisions of this Chapter, including collection of any unpaid fees or civil penalties. The Auditor may bring such an action through independent legal counsel retained or employed by the Auditor, or may request that the City attorney provide such representation.  The City may seek enforcement of all provisions of this Chapter in the enforcement action, including but not limited to recovery of all fees and civil penalties assessed under this Chapter as well as enforcement of any other provision of this Chapter.  In any enforcement action, the City shall be entitled to recover any costs and attorneys’ fees incurred as a result of the violation of this Chapter.

Chapter 2.16 Small Donor Elections Program

(Chapter added by Ordinance 188152; amended by Ordinances 188853 and 190598, effective December 10, 2021.)

2.16.005 Short Title.

(Added by Ordinance 188853; Amended by Ordinances 190598 and 191335, effective July 21, 2023.)

  1. Chapter 2.16 of the Portland City Code will be known as the Small Donor Elections Program.

2.16.010 Definitions.

(Amended by Ordinances 188853, 189336, 189531, 190243190598 and 191335, effective July 21, 2023.) 

  1. As used in this Chapter, unless the context requires otherwise:
  2. A.  “Allowable Contribution” is a contribution of no more than $350 that will be further defined by the Portland Elections Commission and the definition will be published in administrative rules.
  3. B.  “Campaign Finance Entity” means a principal campaign committee registered with the Oregon Secretary of State.
  4. C.  “Candidate” means:
    1. 1.  An individual whose name is printed on a ballot, for whom a declaration of candidacy, nominating petition or certificate of nomination to public office has been filed or whose name is expected to be or has been presented, with the individual’s consent, for nomination or election to public office;
    2. 2.  An individual who has solicited or received and accepted a contribution, made an expenditure, or given consent to an individual, organization, political party or political committee to solicit or receive and accept a contribution or make an expenditure on the individual’s behalf to secure nomination or election to any public office at any time, whether or not the office for which the individual will seek nomination or election is known when the solicitation is made, the contribution is received and retained or the expenditure is made, and whether or not the name of the individual is printed on a ballot.
  5. D.  “Candidate’s   Campaign Account” means a campaign finance account established by a candidate for the exclusive purpose of receiving allowable contributions, matchable contributions, City matching funds and seed money contributions and spending funds in accordance with this Chapter.
  6. E.  “Certified Candidate” means a candidate running for a covered office who is certified as eligible to receive City matching funds.
  7. F.  “City Matching Funds” means money disbursed from the Fund to a certified candidate.
  8. G.  “Commission” means the Portland Elections Commission.
  9. H.  “Contested Election” means, if for the Mayor or Auditor, two or more candidates, and, if for a Councilor, there are more candidates than there are seats to fill.
  10. I.  “Contribution” has the meaning set forth in ORS 260.005 and 260.007.
  11. J.  “Covered Office” means the office of Mayor, Councilor, or Auditor.
  12. K.  “Director” means the Small Donor Elections Director.
  13. L.  “Election Cycle” means the period beginning on the 45th day after the preceding biennial election and ending at 8 p.m. on the day of the biennial election. Until January 1, 2025, for an election held on any date other than the biennial election date, it means the period beginning on the day a vacancy exists or a notice of intent to resign from office is filed with the Auditor and ending at 8 p.m. the day of that election. 
  14. M.  “Expenditure” has the meaning set forth in ORS 260.005 and 260.007.
  15. N.  “Fund” means the Small Donor Elections Fund.
  16. O.  “Independent Expenditure” means an expenditure by a person for a communication in support of or in opposition to a clearly identified candidate for City office that is not made with the cooperation or with the prior consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate or any agent or authorized committee of the candidate. The terms “expenditure”, “clearly identified” and “agent” and the phrases “communication in support of or in opposition to a clearly identified candidate or measure” and “made with the cooperation or with the prior consent of, or in consultation with or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate or any agent or authorized committee of the candidate” will have the meanings set forth in ORS 260.005 and 260.007.
  17. P.  “Individual” means a natural person.
  18. Q.  “In-Kind Contribution” will be defined by the Commission and the definition will be published in administrative rules.
  19. R.  “Matchable Contribution” is a contribution made by a matchable donor and will be further defined by the Commission and published in administrative rules.
  20. S.  “Matchable Donor” means an individual 18 years of age or older who resides within the City limits of the City of Portland, whose residency is verified pursuant to criteria established by the Director, and who can legally contribute to campaigns under state and federal law. The Director may use voter registration as the sole means of verifying residency if the Director determines other methods are not reliable or expedient. The Commission will determine which matchable contributions from the same matchable donor to two or more candidates running for the same seat will be matched, and this determination will be published in administrative rules.
  21. T.  “Non-Participating Candidate” means a person who is running for a covered office who chooses not to file a notice of intent or, after the certification deadline passes, who did file a notice of intent but was not certified.
  22. U.  “Notice of Intent” means a notice filed with the Director on the form prescribed by the program that a candidate intends to seek qualification as a certified candidate.
  23. V.  “Participating Candidate” means a person who is a candidate for a covered office and who seeks to be a certified candidate in an election. Limitations imposed on a participating candidate apply during the entire election cycle, both before and after filing a notice of intent to participate, whether or not the candidate has announced an intention to seek City matching funds, and continue to apply once the candidate becomes a certified candidate, unless the candidate is not certified, in which case the limitations cease to apply once the certification deadline has passed. A participating candidate may become a non-participating candidate by withdrawing from the program or withdrawing their notice of intent.
  24. W.  “Program” means the Small Donor Elections Program.
  25. X.  “Seed Money Contribution” will be defined by the Commission and the definition will be published in administrative rules.

2.16.020 Small Donor Elections Fund Established.

(Amended by Ordinances 189336190598 and 191335, effective July 21, 2023.)

  1. A.  The Small Donor Elections Fund is established, separate from the general fund.  All monies described in Subsection 2.16.020 E. will be paid and credited to the Fund.  Monies in the Fund will be invested in the same manner as other City monies, and any interest earned will be credited to the Fund.
  2. B.  The Director will keep a record of all monies deposited into the Fund and the activity or program against which any withdrawal is charged.
  3. C.  If monies credited to the Fund are withdrawn, transferred, or otherwise used for purposes other than the program or activity for which the Fund is established, interest will accrue on the amount withdrawn from the date of withdrawal and until the monies are restored.
  4. D.  Monies in the Fund will provide, and are continuously appropriated for, financing election campaigns of certified candidates for nomination or election to City office, and paying administrative, enforcement, and other expenses incurred in carrying out the Director's functions and duties under this Chapter. The Commission may approve the use of funds of no more than $10,000 per election cycle for increasing accessibility of debates and forums, provided that the funds are available and that the City matching funds are not reduced for any certified candidate.
  5. E.  The following will be deposited in the Fund:
    1. 1.  All amounts appropriated to it by the City Council. The annual impact of the appropriation on the City general fund is limited to two-tenths of one percent of the general fund without raising any new taxes or fees;
    2. 2.  Any funds returned to the Fund;
    3. 3.  All interest earned on money in the Fund;
    4. 4.  Civil penalties and other monies collected under Sections 2.16.160 and .170; and
    5. 5.  Voluntary donations made directly to the Fund.

2.16.030 Administrative Rules, Commission's Duties and Authority.

(Amended by Ordinances 189336190598 and 191335, effective July 21, 2023.)

  1. A.  The Commission may adopt, amend, and repeal administrative rules relating to matters within the scope of this Chapter, subject to City Attorney review and approval for compliance with City Code and other relevant regulations.  The authority to adopt, amend, and repeal such administrative rules will remain in effect until a City Administrator is hired, at which point the City Administrator will have the authority to adopt, amend, and repeal administrative rules or delegate such authority to a bureau director.
    1. 1.  Before adopting, amending, or repealing a rule, the Commission must notify interested parties and hold a public comment period. Such notice, which may be provided by mail or electronic means, such as posting on the Commission’s website, must be published at least 4 weeks before the close of the public comment period. The notice must include instructions on how an interested party may comment on the proposed rule, a brief description of the subjects covered by the proposed rule, and how to access the full text of the proposed rule.

      2.  During the public comment period, the Commission will receive written comments concerning the proposed rule. At the conclusion of the public comment period, the Commission will either adopt the proposed rule, modify it, or reject it, taking into consideration the comments received. If the Commission makes a substantial modification, it will hold an additional public comment period. Unless otherwise stated, all rules are effective upon adoption by the Commission. All rules adopted by the Commission will be filed with the Commission and the City Auditor’s Office. Copies of all current rules will be posted on the Commission’s website and included on the Auditor’s website under the Portland Policy Documents.

      3.  Notwithstanding Subsections 1. and 2. above, the Commission may adopt an interim rule without prior public notice upon a finding that failure to act promptly will result in serious prejudice to the public interest or the interest of the affected parties, stating the specific reasons for such prejudice. An interim rule adopted pursuant to this Subsection is effective for a period of not more than 180 calendar days. The Commission may extend the interim rule past the 180 calendar days for good cause, as determined in the Commission’s sole discretion.

  2. B.  The rules proposed by the Commission must specify:
    1. 1.  How and when information about and documentation for contributions and expenditures must be submitted to the Director;
    2. 2.  The process for applying for certification;
    3. 3.  Other policies necessary to implement this Chapter, including but not limited to:
      1. a.  Reporting requirements for participating and non-participating candidates;
      2. b.  Additional spending prohibitions;
      3. c.  A process by which participating candidates can change which covered office they are running for;
      4. d.  Collection of revenues for the Fund;
      5. e.  Distribution of Fund revenues to certified candidates;
      6. f.  Penalty matrix detailing penalties for potential violations of this Chapter;
      7. g.  Inspection of reports and documents for compliance with this Chapter; and
      8. h.  Investigation and enforcement of alleged violations this Chapter.

2.16.040 Contribution and Expenditure Requirements for Participating and Certified Candidates.

(Amended by Ordinances 189677, 190243190598 and 191335, effective July 21, 2023.)

  1. A.  Before accepting any allowable, matchable, seed money or in-kind contributions governed by this Chapter, a participating candidate must establish a candidate’s campaign account for the candidate for the purpose of receiving contributions and making expenditures in accordance with this Chapter.
  2. B.  Before accepting any allowable contribution or matchable contribution governed by this Chapter on which a participating candidate intends to rely for certification under Section 2.16.050 and seek City matching funds, a participating candidate must:
    1. 1.  File a notice of intent using the form prescribed by the program with the Director before the deadline, which can be no earlier than June 1 the calendar year before the election; and
    2. 2.  Attend mandatory training provided by the City.  The candidate’s treasurer must also attend the training.
  3. C.  A participating candidate may accept up to $5,000 total in seed money contributions. Certified candidates may not accept seed money contributions. The Commission will establish a deadline for accepting seed money contributions and the deadline will be published in administrative rules.
  4. D.  Participating and certified candidates may accept in-kind contributions in an amount determined by the Commission and published in administrative rules.
  5. E.  During an election cycle, participating and certified candidates may only accept allowable contributions, matchable contributions, City matching funds, and seed money contributions, and in-kind contributions allowed by this Chapter, and other types of Contributions as determined by the Commission.
  6. F.  Participating and certified candidates may not accept allowable contributions or matchable contributions from any one individual totaling more than $350 in the election cycle, except as seed money contributions.
  7. G.  From the date the election cycle begins until filing a notice of intent, a participating candidate may not collect any contributions other than allowable, seed money and in-kind contributions allowed by this Chapter and may only make expenditures from such contributions. After filing a notice of intent, participating and certified candidates may not make expenditures from funds other than City matching funds and allowable, matchable contributions, seed money or in-kind contributions, as allowed by this Chapter.
  8. H.  Participating and certified candidates must deposit all allowable contributions, matchable contributions, City matching funds, and seed money contributions received into the candidate's campaign account. Participating and certified candidates must deliver to the Director documentation, as specified by administrative rule, for each allowable contribution, matchable contribution, seed money contribution, and in-kind contribution.
  9. I.  A participating or certified candidate may retain a preexisting campaign committee or political activities committee as long as the campaign committee or political activities committee does not accept contributions or make expenditures during the election cycle for which the candidate is seeking a covered office, other than a transfer of seed money contributions to the candidate, consistent with Subsection 2.16.040 C. The Commission will determine whether preexisting committees may make certain transactions not related to promoting the candidate in the current election cycle, and its determination will be published in administrative rules.
  10. J.   The Commission will determine how loans are repaid and its determination will be published in administrative rules.
  11. K.  The Commission will set total contributions limits, if any, and these limits will be published in administrative rules.
  12. L.  The Commission may set the amount of loans or debt a campaign may accept.

2.16.050 Requirements for Certification.

(Amended by Ordinances 190243190598 and 191335, effective July 21, 2023.)

  1. A.  In addition to the requirements of Section 2.16.040 and the limitations in Section 2.16.120, to qualify as a certified candidate:
    1. 1.  After filing a notice of intent, a candidate for Mayor must collect an aggregate total determined by the Commission, if any, from at least 750 matchable donors.
    2. 2.  After filing a notice of intent, a candidate for Councilor or Auditor must collect an aggregate total determined by the Commission, if any, from at least 250 matchable donors.
    3. The Commission may establish additional requirements for certification relating to the contributions collected from Matchable Donors and filing methods, and any such requirements will be published in administrative rules.
  2. B.  The Director may change the number of Contributions required to be eligible as a certified candidate in an election held on any date other than the biennial election date through January 1, 2025.
  3. C.  A participating candidate must apply to the Director for certification by the application deadline, which will be no later than the candidate filing deadline.

2.16.060 Director Determination.

(Amended by Ordinances 190243190598 and 191335, effective July 21, 2023.)

  1. A.  The Director must certify a participating candidate if the Director finds that the candidate has met the requirements of Sections 2.16.040, .050 and .120, the candidate has received the required matchable contributions from the required number of matchable donors for the office and the candidate has submitted all information required by this Code or by administrative rule, and the candidate has not violated any requirements in the administrative rules, which could result in denial of certification or decertification.
  2. B.  Before certification, the participating candidate must submit a certification application on the form prescribed by the program to the Director, along with other information as may be required by administrative rule.
  3. C.  The Director must make a certification determination no later than 10 business days after receiving the required information and application from the participating candidate . The Director may take an additional 10 business days to make a certification determination, provided the participating candidate is given notice by the Director that additional time is needed.
  4. D.  A candidate may submit one application for certification for any election. However, the Director may consider a second application from the candidate if the first application was denied, provided that the initial application was not denied for having submitted falsified documents or fraudulent information to the program.
  5. E.  If the Director certifies a candidate, the Director will authorize an initial disbursement of a City matching funds to the candidate's campaign account.

2.16.070 Distribution of City Matching Funds.

(Amended by Ordinances 190243190598 and 191335, effective July 21, 2023.)

  1. A.  City matching funds from the Fund will be distributed only in a contested election. The Director must distribute City matching fundsfrom the Fund to each certified candidate in a contested election as follows:
    1. 1.  For a certified candidate for a covered office the City matching funds will be distributed according to a formula and system established by the Commission and published in administrative rules.
    2. 2.  The total City matching funds payable to a certified candidate for an election cycle may not exceed:
      1. a.  $750,000 for a candidate for Mayor;
      2. b.  and $100,000 for a candidate for Auditor; and
      3. c.  for a candidate for Councilor: 
        1. (1)  $100,000 for a candidate who has collected at least $5 from at least 250 matchable donors;
        2. (2)  an additional $100,000, for a total of $200,000, for a candidate who has met the collection threshold in Subsection 2.16.070 A.2.c.(1) and collected at least $5 from at least 500 new matchable donors; and
        3. (3)  a final $100,000, for a total of $300,000, for a candidate who has met the collection threshold in Subsection 2.16.070 A.2.c.(2) and collected at least $5 from at least 500 new matchable donors. 
  2. B.  The Director must not distribute City matching fundsfrom the Fund to a certified candidate for:
    1. 1.  Seed money contributions;
    2. 2.  In-kind contributions;
    3. 3.  Matchable contributions from matchable donors made before the candidate files a notice of intent;
    4. 4.  Allowable contributions ; or
    5. 5.  The Commission may determine how to distribute public funds when contributions to more than one candidate running for the same seat is made by a matchable donor. This determination will be published in administrative rules.
  3. C.  City matching funds will be distributed on a schedule determined by the Commission. The schedule will be published in administrative rules.
  4. D.  Matchable contributions collected 10 or fewer calendar days prior to an election will not be eligible for City matching funds. 

2.16.080 Use of Contributions.

(Amended by Ordinances 189531190598 and 191335, effective July 21, 2023.)

  1. A.  A participating or certified candidate may only use funds in the candidate’s campaign account for direct allowed campaign purposes related to the candidate’s campaign for nomination or election to the covered office for which they are eligible to be or have qualified as a candidate. Guidelines regarding direct allowed campaign expenditures may be established by administrative rule.
  2. B.   Candidates in elections held on any date other than the biennial election date through January 1, 2025, may use any funds other than City matching funds to settle campaign expenses from a prior campaign during the first 45 calendar days of that election cycle.
  3. C.  City matching funds distributed to a participating candidate may not be:
    1. 1.  Used to make any expenditures prohibited by ORS Chapter 260 and Oregon Administrative Rules;
    2. 2.  Contributed to, or for the purpose of supporting or opposing, any other candidate, political committee or measure;
    3. 3.  Used to make independent expenditures supporting or opposing any candidate, political committee or measure;
    4. 4.  Used in connection with the nomination or election of a participating candidate to any office or at any election other than the office or election for which the contributions were given;
    5. 5.  Used to pay any loans, debts, fines or penalties, except for penalties permitted or required by administrative rule to be paid from the candidate’s campaign account;
    6. 6.  Used to pay for consulting services to an individual, unless the individual is providing bona fide services to the candidate and is compensated no more than fair market value;
    7. 7.  Used for out of state travel except as permitted by the Commission and published in administrative rules;
    8. 8.  Used for certain vehicle-related expenses, as determined by the Commission and published in administrative rules;
    9. 9.  Attorney, accountant and other professional service fees in conjunction with appealing penalties or decertification, unless permitted by the Commission and published in administrative rules;
    10. 10.  Used for salary or payment, other than reimbursable expenses, to a family member;
    11. 11.  Used for gifts, not including campaign brochures, buttons, signs or other printed campaign material;
    12. 12.  Used to make payments in cash; or
    13. 13.  Used in a manner inconsistent with administrative rules.
  4. D.  Public contributions may not be used for penalties or election night and post-election parties, unless permitted by the Commission and published in administrative rules; however, allowable contributions, seed money and in-kind contributions may be used for such events.
  5. E.  Contributions to civic and non-profit organizations are permitted as determined by the Commission and published in administrative rules.
  6. F.  A complaint alleging an impermissible receipt or use of funds by a Participating Candidate must be filed with the Director on the form prescribed by the program. Complaints will be handled in accordance with a process defined in administrative rules. 
  7. G.  A participating candidate must provide the Director with reasonable access to the financial records of the candidate's campaign account, upon request.

2.16.090 Adequate Funds.

(Amended by Ordinances 189881190598 and 191335, effective July 21, 2023.)

  1. A.  If either the Director or the Portland Elections Commission determines that the amount deposited in the Fund will be insufficient at any point during the election cycle, the Director will request the additional amount the Director or the Commission estimates will be necessary from the City Council, subject to the annual appropriation limit detailed in Section 2.16.020.
  2. B.  If the total amount available for distribution in the Fund is insufficient to meet the allocations required by this Chapter, the Commission must reduce City matching funds to a certified candidate by the same percentage of the total City matching funds or the total City matching funds cap. The Commission may determine to reduce the match rate or City matching funds cap in different amounts for different covered offices in order to minimize the impact of the reduction on participating candidates who are facing non-participating candidates.
  3. C.   If the match rate or the City matching funds cap is reduced, the Commission may increase the amount each donor may give each candidate each election cycle from $350 to up to $500.

2.16.100 Return of City Matching Funds.

(Amended by Ordinances 190598 and 191335, effective July 21, 2023.)

  1. Within 15 calendar days after the results of the election are certified, all participating candidates must return unspent money in the candidates’ campaign accounts to the Fund in proportion to the percentage of public to private contributions collected by the candidate, excluding in-kind contributions.

2.16.110 Withdrawal.

(Amended by Ordinances 188853190598 and 191335, effective July 21, 2023.)

  1. A.  A participating candidate may withdraw an application for City matching funds any time before the City matching funds are received by the candidate's campaign account.
  2. B.  A certified candidate may withdraw from participation if the candidate:
    1. 1.  Files a statement of withdrawal with the Director on the form prescribed by the program; and
    2. 2.  Repays to the Fund any remaining funds in their account up to the full amount of the City matching funds received.

2.16.120 Participating and Certified Candidate Restrictions.

(Amended by Ordinances 189336190598 and 191335, effective July 21, 2023.)

  1. A participating or certified candidate must not:
  2. A.  Accept a contribution, other than allowable contributions, seed money or in-kind contributions as permitted by this Chapter, from any group or organization, including a political action committee, a corporation, a labor organization, or a State or local central committee of a political party;
  3. B.  Accept one or more contributions from an individual totaling more than $350 during the election cycle, other than seed money or in-kind contributions as permitted by this Chapter;
  4. C.  Make an allowable contribution from the candidate’s personal funds to the candidate’s principal campaign committee, except as permitted by the Commission and published in administrative rules.
  5. D.  Accept seed money or in-kind contributions in excess of the amounts established in Section 2.16.040.
  6. E.  Expend funds to benefit or advocate for another candidate;
  7. F.  Accept a loan from anyone for campaign purposes, other than a loan from the candidate or candidate’s spouse within seed money limitations or a loan permitted by the Commission and published in administrative rules; or
  8. G.  Transfer funds:
    1. 1.  To the candidate's campaign account from any other campaign finance entity established for the candidate, except as permitted by the Commission and published in administrative rules; and
    2. 2.  From the candidate's campaign account to any other campaign finance entity, except as permitted by the Commission and published in administrative rules.
  9. H.  Solicit for or direct contributions to other campaign finance entities to support their own election.

2.16.130 Portland Elections Commission.

(Amended by Ordinances 189078, 189336189531190598 and 191335, effective July 21, 2023.)

  1. A.  Duties.  The Commission is hereby created.  The Commission will:
    1. 1.  Assist the Director and Council in developing and implementing of the Fund.  The Commission may approve administrative rules necessary to the effective administration of the code as set forth in Section 2.16.030, until a City Administrator is hired, after which point the Commission may make recommendations to the Director regarding such administrative rules.
    2. 2.  Adjust matching ratios and contribution limits and modify regulations to improve operation of public campaign finance and achieve program goals.
    3. 3.  Advise the Director, advise the Director on administrative judgments, recommended policy changes, administrative rule development, and operation of the Fund.
    4. 4.  Recommend hearings officers or an entity to the Director for appointment to review cases and make determinations under Sections 2.16.160 and 2.16.170.
    5. 5.  Adopt such operating policies and procedures as necessary to carry out its duties.
    6. 6.  Prepare and submit to the Council a biennial report which will contain an overview and evaluation of the Fund during the previous election period.
  2. B.  Membership. The Commission will consist of nine members who have demonstrated an interest in campaign finance funding and, insofar as possible, represent diverse interests and diverse communities. The Director will solicit applications from the general public in order to recommend nominees to Council for appointment. Any member of the Council may make nominations to the Commission.
  3. C.  Appointments and Terms. 
    1. 1.  Commission members will be appointed by Council and serve 4 year terms starting May 1 of odd-numbered years, except that the initial appointments will be as follows.
      1. a.  Four of the initial appointees will serve terms from January 1, 2019 to April 30, 2021; and
      2. b.  Five of the initial appointees will serve terms from January 1, 2019 to April 30, 2023.
    2. 2.  Members of the Commission are limited to a maximum of two full terms, except that members serving an initial term of less than 4 years may serve two subsequent 4 year terms. If a position is vacated during a term, it will be filled for the unexpired term. Council may replace any member of the Commission for due cause, including but not limited to malfeasance, incapacity, conflict of interest or neglect of duties.
  4. D.  Meetings, Officers and Subcommittees.
    1. 1.  The Portland Elections Commission will meet at least four times per year and may meet more often as otherwise necessary to conduct its business. Meetings will be conducted in accordance with rules of procedure adopted by the Commission. Five members will constitute a quorum. A quorum will be necessary to make decisions that represent the position of the Commission and to conduct any other Commission responsibilities. The election of officers will take place at the first meeting of each calendar year.
    2. 2.  The officers of the Commission will consist of a chairperson and a vice-chairperson. The chairperson will be responsible for conducting the meetings of the committee. The vice-chairperson will act as chair when the chairperson is not available.
    3. 3.  The Commission may form subcommittees comprised of Commission members which are authorized to act on behalf of the Commission for an assigned purpose.
  5. E.  Attendance. Members of the Commission are expected to attend each meeting of the Commission. Council may replace any member who accrues unexcused absences from three or more consecutive meetings or more than 50 percent of the meetings in any year.
  6. F.  Compensation. Commission members will serve without compensation.

2.16.140 Additional Reporting.

(Amended by Ordinances 189336, 189677190598 and 191335, effective July 21, 2023.)

  1. A.  All candidates and political committees, including non-participating candidates, must report contribution and expenditure transactions electronically in the ORESTAR unless the candidate is not required to create a candidate committee, because contributions and expenditures remain under the state law threshold.
  2. B.  Participating and certified candidates must file additional contribution and expenditure reports to the Director as the Director deems necessary to make certification and City matching funds decisions in a timely manner, as established by administrative rule.  For the purposes of Section 2.16.140, the Director is the City’s election officer.
  3. C.  Participating candidates must report contribution and expenditure transactions to the Director using the same timeline the candidates are required to report their contributions and expenditures to the Oregon Secretary of State’s office. Non-participating candidates must report contribution and Expenditure transactions to the Director using the timeline and in a manner prescribed by administrative rule.

2.16.150 Removal of Certain Contribution Limits.

(Amended by Ordinance 191335, effective July 21, 2023.)

  1. If contributions to a non-participating candidate exceed the total contribution amounts in Subsection 2.16.040 K. for an election cycle or the amounts in Subsection 2.16.040 L., then any participating candidates for the same covered office may:
  2. A.  Exceed the total contribution amounts in Subsection 2.16.040 K. or L. for the election cycle in which the non-participating candidate exceeds those amounts; and
  3. B.  Accept up to $500 in aggregate in allowable contributions from an individual during the relevant election cycle, notwithstanding the $350 limit in Subsections 2.16.010 A., 2.16.040 F. and 2.16.120 B.

2.16.160 Penalties, Revocation of Certification and Repayment of Funds.

(Amended by Ordinances 189531, 190243190598, and 191335, effective July 21, 2023.)

  1. A.  Civil Penalties.
    1. 1.  The Commission will establish in administrative rules a timeline by which candidates may cure failures to comply with this Chapter.
    2. 2.  The Director may impose a civil penalty as provided in this Section, in addition to any other remedies that are provided by this Code or other law, for:
      1. a.  Uncured violation of any provision of this Chapter by a participating or certified candidate; or
      2. b.  Failure to timely file a participating or non-participating candidate  report or to include information required by Section 2.16.140.
    3. 3.  The City may establish a penalty matrix by administrative rule detailing civil penalties for potential violations of this Chapter.  A civil penalty imposed under this Section will not exceed $10,000 for any violation except as otherwise provided in this Section or as permitted by the Commission and published in administrative rules.  Limits on penalties imposed under this Section do not include interest.  Penalties are subject to interest at a rate determined by the Commission and published in administrative rules. 
    4. 4.  The Director will send a notice of proposed penalty to any candidate, person or political committee against whom the Director is imposing a civil penalty.
      1. a.  The notice will describe the proposed penalty and outline the procedures for requesting a penalty hearing.
      2. b.  The notice will be sent by both certified and regular mail.
      3. c.  If a penalty hearing is not requested, the proposed penalty will become final on the date specified in the notice, which date will be the first day following the last day to file a request for a hearing.
    5. 5.  If a civil penalty has been imposed under this Section against a candidate or the principal campaign committee of a candidate, the candidate will be personally liable for the amount to be paid under this Section.
    6. 6.  If a civil penalty has been imposed under this Section against a political committee other than a principal campaign committee, the directors of the political committee will be jointly and severally liable for any amount to be paid under this Section.
    7. 7.  Penalties may be paid from any private source and must be reported as an in-kind contribution unless paid by the candidate or the candidate’s campaign account.  A penalty may not be paid from a candidate’s campaign account unless permitted by the administrative rules. Penalties for violating reporting requirements may be paid in excess of contribution limits in this Chapter only if paid by the candidate’s treasurer.
    8. 8.  Civil penalties may be paid at any time after receiving the notice of proposed penalty, but are due immediately after the penalty has become final.
    9. 9.  Penalties imposed under this Section are subject to interest at a rate set by the Commission and published in administrative rules.
    10. 10.  All moneys received under this Section for violations of any provision of this Chapter will be paid and credited to the Fund.
    11. 11.  At the request of the Director, the City Attorney may seek civil penalties and enforcement of any provision of this Chapter, in addition to any other remedies provided by this Code or other law, in Circuit Court or other appropriate venue.
  2. B.  Denial and Revocation of Certification.
    1. 1.  The Director may deny or revoke certification of a participating or certified candidate for violation of this Chapter. Which violations are subject to denial or revocation of certification will be determined by the Commission and published in administrative rules. A candidate whose certification was denied or revoked will not be eligible to receive City matching funds from the Fund during the election cycle during which the denial or revocation of certification took place.
    2. 2.  If it is determined that a participating candidate violated any other provision of this Chapter during the election cycle, the Director has the authority to revoke the candidate's certification. The Commission may determine a cure period for violations and this determination will be published in administrative rules.
  3. C.  Repayment of Funds.
    1. 1.  A participating candidate against whom a civil penalty has been imposed for violation of Section 2.16.080 will return to the Director an amount of money equal to all revenues distributed to the candidate from the Fund after the date the candidate was certified, plus interest on the total amount of revenues received at a rate set by the Commission, if any.
    2. 2.  The Director will seek immediate recovery of City matching funds for any violation of this Chapter.

2.16.170 Hearings.

(Amended by Ordinances 189336, 189531190598, and 191335, effective July 21, 2023.)

  1. A.  Purpose. The purpose of this Section is to provide persons or political committees adversely affected by administrative determinations made under this Chapter with a timely, effective, and impartial appeal and review of the determination by a Hearings Officer or entity, to be recommended by the Commission and appointed by the Director.
  2. B.  The Director may contract with an entity, including but not limited to a vendor or a government body, to conduct hearings on behalf of the program.
  3. C.  The Hearings Officer or entity conducting hearings may delay a hearing to 21 business days after the request for the hearing is filed or 3 weeks prior to the relevant election, whichever is sooner.
  4. D.  Types of Hearings.
    1. 1.  Certification Hearings. A candidate who has received a determination denying certification or an opponent of a candidate who has been granted certification may challenge a certification decision with a written request for reconsideration as outlined in Subsection 2.16.170 F. and, if still dissatisfied, a written request for a hearing as outlined in Subsection 2.16.170 E.
    2. 2.  Matching Fund Hearings. A candidate who has received a determination granting or denying City matching funds or an opponent of a candidate who has been granted City matching funds may challenge the City matching funds decision by filing a written request for reconsideration as outlined in Subsection 2.16.170 F. and, if still dissatisfied, a written request for a hearing as outlined in Subsection 2.16.170 E.
    3. 3.  Penalty Hearings. A candidate, person or political committee who has received a notice of proposed penalty from the Director may challenge the proposed penalty by filing a written request for reconsideration as outlined in Subsection 2.16.170 F. and, if still dissatisfied, a written request for a hearing as outlined in Subsection 2.16.170 E.
  5. E.  Requests for Hearings.
    1. 1.  The written request for a hearing must be filed not later than:
      1. a.  7 calendar days after the mailing of the certification reconsideration decision;
      2. b.  7 calendar days after the mailing of the proposed penalty reconsideration decision; or
      3. c.  7 calendar days after the mailing of the notification of the matching reconsideration decision:
        1. (1)  For an opponent of the candidate who requested the City matching funds, 7 calendar days after the mailing of the notification of the reconsideration decision.
        2. (2)  For an opponent of the candidate who requested the City matching funds, 7 calendar days after the mailing information about the matching determination from the Director, which will be provided upon request.
    2. 2.  The request must be filed pursuant to forms and procedures published on the program website. The written request must contain either a copy of, or a full and complete description of, the decision or determination appealed and a statement of grounds upon which it is contended that the decision or determination is invalid, unauthorized, or otherwise improper, together with such other information as the Director may require by rule.
    3. 3.  No person or political committee other than those described in Subsection 2.16.170 D. may be a party to any hearing conducted under this Section.
  6. F.  Request for reconsideration.
    1. 1.  The written request for reconsideration must be filed with the Director not later than:
      1. a.  For certification determination, within 7 calendar days after the date of determination by the Director.
      2. b.  For a proposed penalty, within 7 calendar days after the date the Director imposes the penalty.
      3. c.  For a matching determination,
        1. (1)  For the candidate who requested the City matching funds, within 7 calendar days of the determination by the Director.
        2. (2)  For the opponent of the candidate who requested the City matching funds or a member of the public, within 7 calendar days after the date of the determination, which is available upon written request filed with the Director.
      4. d.  The Director must provide a final response to the request for reconsideration within 10 business days of receiving the request.
  7. G.  Conduct of Hearings.
    1. 1.  As provided in Section 2.16.130, the Commission will recommend to the Director for appointment a panel of hearings officers, or an outside entity to perform the hearings function, to review cases and make determinations under this Section.
    2. 2.  The Director will designate and appoint hearings officers or an entity, including but not limited to a vendor or another government body, based upon the recommendations of the Portland Elections Commission.
    3. 3.  Written requests for hearings must be filed within the deadlines established in Subsection 2.16.170 E. A hearing must be held within the timelines established in Subsection 2.16.170 C.
    4. 4.  The date set for hearings under this Section will be:
      1. a.  Not later than 7 calendar days after the request for a certification or City matching funds hearing is filed as outlined in Subsections 2.16.170 E.; or
      2. b.  Not more than 14 calendar days after the request for a penalty hearing is filed as outlined in Subsection 2.16.170 E.
    5. 5.  Notice.
      1. a.  In the case of certification hearings requested under Subsection 2.16.170 E.:
        1. (1)  Notice of receipt of a request for a hearing, together with a copy of the request, will be given to all other candidates for the same office. The notice will be sent not later than one business day after the request is filed.
        2. (2)  Notice of the hearing, together with a copy of the request for a hearing, will be given to the person who requested the hearing and all other candidates for the same office. The notice will be sent not later than one business day after the date is set for the hearing. The notice will specify the time, date, and place set for the hearing.
        3. (3)  The notices required in Subsections 2.16.170 G.5.a.(1) and (2) may be combined.
      2. b.  In the case of penalty hearings requested under Subsection 2.16.170 E.1.b., notice will be given of the hearing to the person or political committee who requested the hearing. The notice will be sent not later than one business day after the date is set for the hearing under Subsection 2.16.170 C. The notice will specify the time, date, and place set for the hearing.
      3. c.  Notices may be given by any method or combination of methods which, under the circumstances, is reasonably likely to apprise the parties of the hearing. Notice may be given by United States mail, phone, e-mail or other method authorized by rule. If notice is given by mail, such notice will be deemed given and received 3 calendar days (Sundays and holidays not included) after the notice is deposited in the United States mail. The failure of any person to receive actual notice of the proceeding will not invalidate the hearing or any determination, decision, or order of the hearings officer.
    6. 6.  The hearings will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 22.10, except as otherwise provided in this Section.
  8. H.  Order of the Hearings Officer.
    1. 1.  The hearings officer will issue an order not later than 5 business days after a certification City matching fundsor penalty hearing.
    2. 2.  In the case of a certification hearing, the hearings officer may uphold or revoke the certification.
    3. 3.  In the case of a City matching funds hearing, the hearings officer may uphold or revoke City matching funds, or modify a City matching funds decision by revoking some or all City matching fundsor granting additional City matching funds.
    4. 4.  In the case of a penalty hearing, the hearings officer may uphold, revoke or modify the penalty.
    5. 5.  The order of the hearings officer is a final decision of the City.
    6. 6.  Judicial review of an order made under this Section will be as provided in Title 22.
  9. I.  Return of Funds and Payment of Cost of Hearing.
    1. 1.  If the certification of a candidate is revoked following a hearing under this Section, the candidate will return to the Director an amount of money equal to all revenues distributed to the candidate from the Elections Fund after the date the candidate was certified the Director may also charge interest on the total amount of revenues received at a rate set by the Commission.
    2. 2.  If City matching funds is revoked, the candidate will return to the Director an amount of money equal to the amount of revoked City matching funds distributed to the candidate from the Fund, plus interest on the total amount of City matching Funds received.
    3. 3.  If the hearings officer or a court finds that a request for a hearing under this Section was made frivolously or to cause delay or hardship, the hearings officer or the court may require the person who filed the request for a hearing to pay costs of the hearings officer, court and opposing parties, and attorney fees of the opposing parties, if any.

2.16.180 Implementation.

(Amended by Ordinances 189336 and 189531, effective June 28, 2019.) 

  1. This Chapter applies to elections after November 1, 2019.

2.16.190 Program Oversight.

(Added by Ordinance 188853; amended by Ordinances 189336, 189531, 190243190598 and 191335, effective July 21, 2023.)

  1. A.  The City Council will, by a 3/5 majority vote, appoint the Director. The Director may be terminated for cause by a 4/5 majority vote of the City Council. The authority of the City Council to hire and terminate the Director will remain in effect until a City Administrator is hired, at which point the City Administrator will provide program oversight and have the authority to hire and terminate the Director.
  2. B.  Elected officials, including their staff and the City Administrator, may not:
    1. 1.  Interfere with or exert influence over program determinations including certification, match eligibility, investigations, and penalties.
    2. 2.  Share program information with a campaign, unless the information has previously been released to the campaign or the public.
  3. C.  Nothing in this Section prevents the City Elections Officer from referring matters to the program for investigation or communicating with the program about a matter also under investigation by the City Elections Office.