Oregon Redistricting Process

Congressional and Legislative

Congressional and legislative maps are enacted by the State Legislature. The Governor can veto the plans.

The Legislature can override a veto with a two-thirds vote. No party currently has a veto-proof majority in either chamber.


The Supreme Court reviews maps passed by the legislature and determines by September 1 of the year of reapportionment their legality. If the Supreme Court determines that the reapportionment does not comply with the Constitution, the task of redistricting is assigned to the Secretary of State. The Secretary conducts a hearing on the reapportionment at which the public may submit evidence, views and argument. The Secretary submits the corrected reapportionment to the Supreme Court on or before November 1 of the same year.

Challenges to congressional and legislative maps are litigated in the State Supreme Court.

Source: Or. Const. art. IV, § 6.

Ballot Measure Process

Kinds of Ballot Measures
Direct initiatives and all referendums are permitted to amend statutes. Direct initiatives are permitted to amend the state constitution. Legislatively initiated ballot measures may amend both statutes and the constitution.

Single-Subject Rule
There is a single-subject rule.

Initiative Subject Restrictions
There are no initiative subject restrictions.

Signature Requirements
1000 preliminary signatures are required.
The signature requirement for constitutional amendments is 8% of all votes cast for all candidates for governor in the previous general election, 6% for statutory amendments, and 4% for referendums. 1,867,000 people voted for a candidate for governor in the 2018 General Election in Oregon, so 149,360 signatures are required for constitutional amendments, 112,020 signatures are required for statutory amendments, and 74,680 signatures are required for referendums.

Submission Deadlines
Initiative petitions must be submitted no less than four months prior to the election in which the petition is to appear on the ballot (July 2, 2020). Referendums must be submitted within 90 days after the end of the session at which the act is passed.

Circulation Period
There is no limit on circulation. It must naturally be less than two years because biannual votes are held.

Ballot Title and Summary
The ballot title and summary are drafted by the Attorney General. After receiving public comments, the final version is also written by the Attorney General. Expedited reviews for titles and summaries are permitted.

Other Requirements
A fiscal impact statement is required. Measures that include a proposition to amend voting requirements need a supermajority to be passed. The supermajority required is the percentage of votes proposed in the measure. The Legislature can amend or repeal a statutory initiative through a majority vote. The Legislature can amend or repeal an amendment through a majority vote in both chambers of the Legislature. Initiatives are permitted on general election ballots, but not on primary or special election ballots or odd-year ballots.

Source: Or. Const. art. II, §23; art. IV, §1. Or. Rev. Stat. § 250 (2020). Oregon State Initiative and Referendum Manual

Active Ballot Measures
  • Oregon Petition 57 - Redistricting Ballot Measure - Legislative and Congressional Findings (2020); Oregon Petition 58 - Redistricting Ballot Measure - Legislative Findings (2020); Oregon Petition 59 - Redistricting Ballot Measure - Congressional Findings (2020)
    • Status - Not on the Ballot
    • Summary - These three citizens initiatives aim to amend the state constitution by giving responsibility for redistricting to a 12-member redistricting commission. The Oregon legislature would no longer be responsible for redistricting. Petition 57's proposals deal with both congressional and legislative districts, Petition 58's proposals deal with legislative districts, and Petition 59's proposals deal with congressional districts. Should Petition 58 and Petition 59 both pass, only one commission would be responsible for drawing congressional and legislative districts. People Not Politicians Oregon began gathering signed petitions online on May 13. Proponents had until July 2, 2020, to collect the required signatures. After failing to collect the required number of signatures by the deadline the group filed suit in federal court arguing the timeframe makes it impossible to collect the required signatures during the pandemic. They have asked the court to order the Secretary of State to adjust ballot measure standards for the 2020 election. People Not Politicians claimed that they have asked the Secretary to lower the number of required signatures and to move the deadline for submissions to late-August, but no action was taken. On July 10, a federal judge ordered the Secretary of State to either place the initiative on the 2020 ballot or to move the signature filing deadline back to August 17 and to reduce the number of signatures required to 58,789. The Secretary chose the latter option on July 13. On July 15, the Attorney General of Oregon challenged the federal judge's decision. The Secretary of State did not join in the appeal request. On July 23, 2020, a Ninth Circuit panel denied the Attorney General's request for an emergency stay. On July 29, the Secretary of State appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. On August 11, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the Attorney General's request for a stay. The Ninth Circuit ruled on September 2, 2020, that they had insufficient time to resolve all legal issues so the measure would not appear on the ballot in 2020.

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