Oregon

Overview

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.

Legislative

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.


Previous Redistricting Cycles

2020

  • Congressional
    • Original PlanSB 881
      • Passed = September 27, 2021 (D-controlled)
      • Signed = September 27, 2021
    • Litigation History
      • State ex rel Rep. Kotek v. Fagan, No. S068364 (Ore. Apr. 9, 2021): On March 10, 2021, an Oregon state representative and state senator filed a petition with the Oregon Supreme Court on behalf of the Oregon Legislative Assembly seeking relief from the state's constitutional redistricting deadlines, citing the delayed release of 2020 Census population data. On April 9, 2021, the Oregon Supreme Court granted the petitioners’ request for a preemptory writ of mandamus, finding that the delayed census data release would make complying with the constitutional deadlines impossible and that the court could modify these deadlines without significantly affecting the duties of the Legislature and the Secretary, the rights of electors, or the general election cycle.
      • Clarno v. Fagan, No. 21CV40180 (Ore. Cir. Ct., Marion Cty. Nov. 24, 2021): On October 11, 2021, a former Oregon Secretary of State and several Oregon voters filed a petition in state court challenging the Legislative Assembly's enacted congressional redistricting plan as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander and as violating the state’s statutory redistricting criteria relating to partisan favoritism and the preservation of communities of interest and political subdivisions. On November 24, 2021, the court issued an opinion upholding the plan and dismissing the petitioners' challenge on the grounds the enacted plan was “within the range of plans” that Oregon courts and the legislature have adopted in the past and the plaintiffs failed to sufficiently establish their constitutional claim.
  • Legislative
    • Original PlansSB 882
      • Passed = September 27, 2021 (D-controlled)
      • Signed = September 27, 2021
    • Litigation History
      • State ex rel Rep. Kotek v. Fagan, No. S068364 (Ore. Apr. 9, 2021): On March 10, 2021, an Oregon state representative and state senator filed a petition with the Oregon Supreme Court on behalf of the Oregon Legislative Assembly seeking relief from the state's constitutional redistricting deadlines, citing the delayed release of 2020 Census population data. On April 9, 2021, the Oregon Supreme Court granted the petitioners’ request for a preemptory writ of mandamus, finding that the delayed census data release would make complying with the constitutional deadlines impossible and that the court could modify these deadlines without significantly affecting the duties of the Legislature and the Secretary, the rights of electors, or the general election cycle.
      • Sheehan v. Oregon Legislative Assembly, No. S068991 (Ore. Nov. 22, 2021): On October 25, 2021, a group of Oregon voters filed a petition with the Oregon Supreme Court challenging the Legislative Assembly's redistricting process and resulting enacted legislative redistricting plans as violating several state redistricting statutes relating to partisan bias in districts and public testimony. On November 22, 2021, the Oregon Supreme Court released an opinion ruling in favor of the defendants and upholding the plan on the grounds the plaintiffs failed to sufficiently support their alleged violations.
      • Calderwood v. Oregon Legislative Assembly, No. S068989 (Ore. Nov. 22, 2021): On October 25, 2021, two Oregon voters filed a petition with the Oregon Supreme Court challenging the Legislative Assembly's enacted state House redistricting plan as violating various state redistricting statutes relating to incumbency protection, the preservation of communities of interest, and adherence to natural and logical boundaries. On November 22, 2021, the Oregon Supreme Court issued an opinion ruling in favor of the defendants and upholding the plans on the grounds the plaintiffs failed to sufficiently support their claims.

2010

  • Congressional
    • Original PlanSB 990
      • Passed = June 30, 2011 (Split-control)
      • Signed = June 30, 2011
    • Litigation History
      • None
  • Legislative
    • Original PlanSB 989
      • Passed = June 13, 2011 (Split-control)
      • Signed = June 13, 2011
    • Litigation History
      • None

2000

  • Congressional
    • Original PlanSB 500
      • Passed = 2001 (R-controlled)
      • Vetoed = June 28, 2001 (D-controlled)
    • State Court’s Plan (D-Governor vetoed R-controlled Legislature’s plan)
      • Adopted = October 19, 2001
    • Litigation History
      • Perrin v. Kitzhaber, No. 0107-07021 (Ore. Cir. Ct., Multnomah Cty. Oct. 19, 2001): After the Republican Legislature’s congressional plan was vetoed by the state’s Democratic Governor, a state circuit court was petitioned to draw and adopt a constitutional congressional plan in advance of the 2002 election. On October 19, 2001, the circuit court ruled that the state’s then-existing congressional districts were unconstitutional due to being malapportioned and ordered the adoption of its own congressional plan.
  • Legislative
    • Original PlanHB 2001
      • Passed = 2001 (R-controlled)
      • Vetoed = June 28, 2001
    • Secretary of State’s Plan (D-Governor vetoed the R-controlled Legislature’s legislative plan)
      • Approved in Part = October 18, 2001 (minor corrections made and subsequently approved)
    • Litigation History
      • Hartung v. Bradbury, 33 P.3d 972 (Ore. 2001): After the Republican Legislature’s legislative plan was vetoed by the state’s Democratic Governor, legislative redistricting responsibility fell to the Secretary of State. Several different groups of plaintiffs filed constitutional challenges to the Secretary’s issued plan on various grounds, including substantial population deviations in violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and noncompliance with the state’s redistricting criteria. O October 18, 2001, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled in favor of the defendants on all claims except for one relating to a malapportioned state House district caused by an error in census-data. The Court ordered the Secretary of State to correct the plan and refile it by December 1, 2001, which the Secretary of State did.

Governor Bill Signing

If a bill is presented to the governor during session, the governor has 5 days to sign or veto it; otherwise, it becomes law without signature. If the bill is delivered to the governor during the last 5 days of the session, the governor must sign or veto it within 30 days of session adjournment; otherwise, it becomes law. Saturdays and Sundays are excluded in these calculations. Line-item vetoes are permitted.


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 8, 2022). 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 Initiative Petition 16 (2022)
    • Status - Ballot Title insufficient
    • Summary - This citizen initiative would give responsibility for legislative and congressional redistricting to a 12-member redistricting commission. The state legislature would no longer have the authority to draw legislative and congressional maps. A panel of 3 administrative law judges would be appointed to review the applications and the Secretary of State would select the first 6 commissioners by lot, 2 affiliated with the largest political party in the sate, 2 affiliated with the second largest political party in the state, and 2 unaffiliated as described by the measure. The 6 randomly-selected commissioners would then choose the final 6 commissioners by March 15, 2023, and thereafter August 15 in each year ending in the number zero. This citizen initiative would give responsibility for legislative and congressional redistricting to a 12-member redistricting commission. The state legislature would no longer have the authority to draw legislative and congressional maps.

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