Amend Portland City Elections Code to implement ranked choice voting approved by voters in Portland Measure 26-288 (replace Code Chapter 2.08)
The City of Portland ordains:
Section 1. The Council finds:
- On November 8, 2022, voters approved Portland Measure 26-228 (the “Measure”).
- The Measure significantly amended Portland’s City Charter. The Measure generally established a mayor-council form of government with a City Administrator, created four new geographic districts with three councilors representing each district, and called for a new system of electing City officers using ranked choice voting. The Measure specifically required City Council to adopt an election code for the administration of ranked choice voting.
- The City’s Charter Transition Team, Office of the City Auditor, and the City Attorney’s Office partnered with Multnomah County and Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center to ensure that Portland City Code Chapter 2.08, as shown in Exhibit A, meets City and county elections requirements, state law, and national best practices. Exhibit B, attached, is the redline version of Chapter 2.08 reflecting all the changes.
NOW, THEREFORE, the Council directs:
Replace Code Chapter 2.08 as shown in Exhibit A.
An ordinance when passed by the Council shall be signed by the Auditor. It shall be carefully filed and preserved in the custody of the Auditor (City Charter Chapter 2 Article 1 Section 2-122)
Passed by Council
Auditor of the City of Portland
Purpose of Proposed Legislation and Background Information
In November 2022, voters approved amendments to Portland’s City Charter that included establishment of a mayor-council form of government, creation of four new geographic districts with three councilors representing each district, and election of City officers using ranked choice voting.
This ordinance amends Portland City Code Chapter 2.08 to ensure successful implementation of ranked choice voting for the 2024 November election. The amended Chapter 2.08 reflects careful consideration and collaboration between the City, Multnomah County, and the Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center (RCVRC). RCVRC is a national expert in ranked choice voting, leading the implementation of ranked choice voting in jurisdictions across the country. The language in amended Chapter 2.08 is based on City and county elections requirements, state law, national best practices, and, in some cases, software limitations. Multnomah County is leading the coordination with Washington and Clackamas counties.
Financial and Budgetary Impacts
City elections are primarily administered by Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas Counties, with the City Elections Office also administering certain aspects. Costs associated with changes to Chapter 2.08 and the City elections process (increased administrative costs and upcoming candidate and voter education) are included in the FY22-23 budget and have been requested in the FY23-24 budget.
Community Impacts and Community Involvement
The amended Chapter 2.08 and associated voter education will affect every Portland voter. The City’s Charter Transition Team sought specific public input on several policy choices and general feedback to inform the City’s voter education efforts. Input was received through a variety of means including by email, a public survey, a community listening session, and staff presentations at community meetings.
The Charter requires the City to perform periodic voter education. While this was known at the onset of the transition work, drafting the Chapter 2.08 amendments made it clear just how critical voter (and candidate) education will be to ensure voters and candidates feel confident navigating the new elections system in November 2024. The changes truly do impact every aspect of how Portlanders vote. Given the significance of these impacts, the City is partnering with Multnomah County on creation of consistent and clear voter education materials and will soon be releasing a request for proposals for an organization to lead a coalition of community-based organizations in providing voter education to harder-to-reach voters, such as Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color; immigrants and refugees; seniors; people with disabilities; members of the City’s minority language communities; unhoused and housing insecure residents; communities with limited digital access; and residents of neighborhoods with turnout below the City average. Voter education will be focused on how to use ranked choice voting in City elections.
100% Renewable Goal
This legislation updates City Code related to election of public officials and has no impact on the City’s energy use. This legislation neither contributes to, nor detracts from, the City’s goal of meeting 100% of community-wide energy needs with renewable energy by 2050.
Budget Office Financial Impact Analysis
In a report issued in November 2022, CBO estimated that the annual ongoing costs of implementing ranked choice voting ranged from $1,098,460 to $2,039,392, with $1,761,409 already in the City’s budget for the Elections Office and the Small Donor Elections Program. One-time costs for implementation ranged from $1,596,041 to $3,387,130, including costs for hardware and software, and for voter education & outreach. The City has allocated $4,189,005 of one-time General Fund resources for the transition effort in the current year, and an additional $1.9 million in General Fund one-time resources has been placed in a set-aside for use in future years. OMF is currently continuing to refine its requests for funding for next year and beyond.
293 Time Certain in April 12, 2023 Council Agenda
Passed to second reading
306 Regular Agenda in April 19, 2023 Council Agenda
- Commissioner Dan Ryan Yea
- Commissioner Rene Gonzalez Yea
- Commissioner Mingus Mapps Yea
- Commissioner Carmen Rubio Yea
- Mayor Ted Wheeler Yea