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.
Previous Redistricting Cycles
- Original Plan – SB 990
- Passed = June 30, 2011 (Split-control)
- Signed = June 30, 2011
- Litigation History
- Original Plan – SB 989
- Passed = June 13, 2011 (Split-control)
- Signed = June 13, 2011
- Litigation History
- Original Plan – SB 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.
- Original Plan – HB 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.
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.
There is a single-subject rule.
Initiative Subject Restrictions
There are no initiative subject restrictions.
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.
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.
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.
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 - Filed
- 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.
In The News
- Judicial Panel Upholds Oregon Democrats’ New US Congressional Districts, OPB (11/29/21)
- Oregon Supreme Court Dismisses Challenges to Democrats’ New Legislative Districts, Oregon Live (11/22/21)
- Oregon’s Redistricting Maps Official, After Lawmakers Pass Them, Gov. Kate Brown Signs Off, Oregon Live (10/1/21)
- Oregon Democrats Unveil their Redistricting Proposal, Setting up Partisan Clash in Salem, OPB (9/19/21)
- Oregon Legislature to Hold Special Session on Redistricting Maps, Statesman Journal (9/10/21)
- Oregon Democrats Propose a Congressional District Map that Would Likely Give their Party 5 of 6 Seats in U.S. House, Oregon Live (9/3/21)
- Hearings on Redistricting are Next Week; Legislative Deadline is Sept. 27, Argus Observer (8/31/21)
- Dems Blast Dems for 'Arrogant' Moves as 2022 Redistricting Starts, Baker City Herald (7/19/21)
- Top Democrats Unlikely to Allow Public Hearing on Oregon Independent Redistricting Proposal, Oregon Live (6/10/21)
- Bill Aligns Oregon's Congressional Redistricting with Legislative Redistricting, Portland Tribune (5/13/21)
- Oregon’s Steady Growth Lands it an Additional US House Seat, AP (4/26/21)
- Redistricting Group Files New Initiative Meant to Pressure Legislature to Act, Oregon Live (4/19/21)
- Deal Gives GOP more Redistricting Power to Speed up Bills, AP (4/15/21)
- Lawmakers Given more Time to Redraw Oregon Political Lines, AP (4/9/21)
- Oregon Supreme Court Floats Hurried-up Timeline for Redrawing Political Maps, OPB (3/30/21)
- Oregon Secretary of State Hires Constitutional Law Expert to Strengthen her Position to Have Say in Redistricting, Oregon Live (3/20/21)
- Oregon State Leaders Split on how to Resolve Redistricting Dilemma as Deadline Approaches, The Center Square (3/11/21)
- Census Delay Leaves Oregon's Redistricting Process in a Lurch, OPB (2/4/21)
- Legislature could be Cut Out of Redistricting by Late Census Numbers, Oregon Capital Insider (2/2/21)
- Meet the Oregon Secretary of State Candidates: Shemia Fagan and Kim Thatcher, KGW (9/18/20)
- The Census has Long Failed to Accurately Tally Populations in Indian Country. COVID-19 is Hampering Attempts to Fix that, Underscore (9/4/20)
- Oregon Redistricting Measure Blocked from November Ballot by Appeals Court Decision, OPB (9/2/20)
- U.S. Supreme Court Hits Pause on Oregon Redistricting Ballot Measure, Oregon Live (8/11/20)
- Oregon Attorney General Takes Fight Against Redistricting Initiative to US Supreme Court, Oregon Public Broadcasting (7/29/20)
- Federal Appeals Court Denies State's Motion to Halt Signature Gathering for Redistricting Measure, Willamette Week (7/24/20)
- 9th Circuit Rejects Bid by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to Halt Signature Gathering for Redistricting Initiative, Oregon Live (7/23/20)
- Oregon AG Appeals Federal Judge's Order on Redistricting Bid, AP (7/15/20)
- Under Federal Judge's Order, Secretary of State Bev Clarno Extends Deadline for Redistricting Measure, Willamette Week (7/14/20)
- Oregon Redistricting Measure May Go to Voters After Judge's Ruling, OPB (7/10/20)
- Redistricting Measure Aimed at November Ballot Falls Short, Willamette Week (7/3/20)
- Potential OR Initiative Could Cut Down on Gerrymandering, Public News Service (6/26/20)
- Proposed Oregon Initiative Could Curb Gerrymandering, KTVZ (6/25/20)
- Redistricting Reformers to Oregon Voters: You've Got Mail, The Fulcrum (6/11/20)
- Oregon Redistricting Campaign Hopes Huge Mailing will Help Initiative Qualify for November Ballot, Oregon Live (6/10/20)
- In Face of Pandemic, Opponents of Partisan Redistricting in Oregon Pursue New Ballot Initiative Strategy, Oregon Public Broadcasting (6/4/20)
- Campaign Pushes for Citizen Commission, not Legislature, to Handle Redistricting in Oregon, Oregon Live (5/13/20)