ARA-16.01 - Election of Candidates

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
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A.    Purpose

In 2022, voters amended the City Charter to use ranked choice voting as the method of electing candidates and updated the City’s form of government. Chapter 3, Article 1 of the Charter (General Procedures) and Chapter 2.08 of the Portland City Code (Election of Candidates) set the method and requirements for electing city candidates and filing for office. The Auditor’s Administrative Rules set forth additional clarification and requirements.

B.    Authority

Section 2-506 of the Portland City Charter (Administrative Powers) authorizes the City Auditor to adopt, amend, and repeal administrative rules to carry out the Auditor's duties.

C.    Methods for Filing to be on the Ballot 

Candidates may file to be on the ballot by one of the following two methods beginning on the first day to file for office, in accordance with state law:

  1. Declaration of Candidacy. To file by Declaration of Candidacy, candidates must:
    1. Complete a candidate filing application (AUD 120 Form); and
    2. Pay a filing fee or receive approval of a fee waiver request, as set forth in Section D. 2 below.
  2. Nominating Petition. To file by Nominating Petition, candidates must:
    1. Complete a candidate filing application (AUD 120 Form); and
    2. Collect required signatures on a nominating petition signature sheet approved by the City Elections Officer in writing.

D. Filing by Declaration of Candidacy: Payment of Filing Fee or by Approval of a Fee Waiver

For a candidate to be considered to have completed the process of filing for candidacy, the City Elections Office must receive payment in full or have approved a fee waiver application.

  1. For candidates filing by Declaration of Candidacy and fee, who are not seeking a fee waiver:
    1. The filing fee is:
      1. $75 for candidates running for Councilor; and
      2. $100 for candidates running for Auditor or Mayor
    2. Payment can be received through:
      1. The payment portal provided on the Auditor’s website;
      2. Paid in person at the City Elections Office by cash or check; or
      3. By mailing a check to the City Elections Office. All checks must be made payable to “City of Portland.”
  2. For candidates filing by Declaration of Candidacy, who are seeking a fee waiver:
    1. A fee waiver may be requested due to economic hardship on a form provided by the Auditor’s Office. It must be filed and approved prior to filling out a candidacy filing application (AUD 120 Form).  
      1. The Auditor’s Office will grant a fee waiver in the following circumstances that establish receipt of an income-based benefit or tax exemption from a government entity:
        1. Candidate qualified for either the Household Exemption or the Permanent Filing Exemption for Seniors or Permanently Disabled Individuals to the Portland City Arts Education and Access Income Tax (pursuant to Portland Policy Documents LIC-11.10 or LIC-11.15) in the previous tax year, as verified by the City Elections Office, or
        2. Candidate qualified for an income-based bill discount from the Portland Water Bureau within 12 months preceding the date the fee waiver request is filed, as verified by the City Elections Office.
        3. Candidate provides proof of qualification for income-based government financial assistance in the 12 months preceding the date the fee waiver request is filed.
          1. For example, candidate provides documentation of qualification for Oregon Health Plan coverage for the candidate from the Oregon Health Authority in the last twelve months from the date of filing a fee waiver.
        4. The Auditor’s Office may request documentation it deems necessary from a government entity to confirm a candidate’s qualification for the fee waiver. To be eligible to be considered for a fee waiver, candidates must authorize the Auditor to obtain such information about the candidate.
      2. If a candidate is unable to establish eligibility for a fee waiver through one of the above means, the Auditor’s Office may grant a fee waiver based on a candidate’s household income. To qualify for the fee waiver by this method, the candidate must provide tax returns from the most recent tax year that establish the candidate’s adjusted gross income was at or below 60 percent of the Portland-metro area’s median family income (“MFI”) for the most recent year available.    
        1. The Auditor’s office will assess household MFI qualification based on the U.S. Census bureau’s most recent MFI for the Portland metro area and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Income Limits Documentation System.

E.  Filing by Nominating Petition: Signature Requirements for All Elective Offices

  1. The signature requirement for City of Portland candidates filing for office by nominating petition is set by state law in ORS 249.072 (Requirements Regarding Number and Distribution of Persons Signing Nonpartisan Petitions). The number of required validated signatures is whichever is less of:
    1. 500 signatures or
    2. One percent of votes cast in the electoral district for all candidates for governor (at the most recent election at which a candidate for governor was elected to a full term).
  2. For the 2024 General Election, the signature requirement is at 500 for all City elective offices.
  3. Signatures must be collected from registered voters of the relevant electoral district and validated by the City Elections Office, in partnership with the County, to qualify towards the signature threshold.

F.  Reporting Official Results in a Candidate Election 

The Auditor or the Auditor’s designee shall submit to City Council a Report of Official Elections Results for each election. The report shall:

  1. Use results from county abstract(s) of votes for the City of Portland.
  2. List each office up for election, candidates qualified to the ballot, and corresponding results for each candidate and measure. The report shall include only official results and clearly list individuals elected to office and measures approved or rejected by voters.  
  3. Be presented to Council within 12 business days of the City Elections Office receiving the abstract of votes from county elections offices.

G. Public Record Safety Exemptions

If a candidacy filing application (AUD 120 Form) contains personal information that the candidate believes would pose a safety risk to them or their family, the candidate may file a public record safety exemption with the City Elections Office.

  1. A request under this section should be made on the form provided by the Auditor’s Office.
  2. Forms should be submitted through the online filing portal, via email at, or in person.
  3. The Auditor’s Office will review all requests as timely as possible.


Please direct questions about this administrative rule to the City Elections Office at

All Auditor's Office administrative rules may also be requested from the Auditor’s Office’s Operations Management Division.

Historical notes


Adopted by the City Auditor on November 1, 2023 after a minimum 30-day public comment period.

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