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government oregon elections 2004

Why is there no one questioning this measure?

This appears to be another way of eroding your rights to participate in a democratic society. The fact is that the saving to the City of Portland would be negligible, yet the damages to citizens' rights to participate in government could be incalculable. Y'all may not want to let this one slip under the radar.
Measure Filing
May 2004 Primary Election

City of Portland
Measure No. 26-53

BALLOT TITLE AMENDS CHARTER: CANDIDATES RECEIVING MAJORITY VOTE AT PRIMARY ARE ELECTED
QUESTION: Shall Charter provide that candidates who receive majority vote in Primary Election are elected without further vote at General Election?

SUMMARY: Presently, the Portland City Charter provides that all candidates for City office must be elected at a General Election. Therefore, even when a candidate receives a majority of votes cast at a Primary Election, that candidate appears as the sole candidate on the General Election ballot. The proposed measure will amend the Charter to provide that if a candidate receives a majority of votes cast for an office at the Primary Election, that candidate is elected to that office for the term beginning the following January. As a result, the candidate would not have to appear on the General Election ballot. If no candidate receives a majority of votes cast for the office at the Primary Election, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall appear on the General Election ballot.

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

This measure amends the Portland City Charter to simplify the process for electing City officials. Currently, the City Charter provides that a candidate who receives a majority of votes at the Primary Election must appear again on the General Election ballot as the sole candidate. This measure provides that if a candidate for an office receives a majority of votes cast at the Primary Election, he or she will be elected without having to appear again on the General Election ballot. In effect, this measure eliminates "single candidate run-offs."

This measure adopts a streamlined election process similar to that provided for in the state statutes for non-partisan elections. Other jurisdictions, including Multnomah County, have adopted and successfully applied this process. Eliminating the requirement that a sole candidate appear on the General Election ballot will reduce election administration and voters' pamphlet printing costs.

In 30 out of 40 elections for City officials since 1980, one candidate as received a majority of the votes cast at the Primary Election and appeared as the sole nominee at the General Election. No write-in candidate has ever come close to defeating a sole nominee.

This measure does not change the election process if no candidate receives a majority vote at the Primary Election. In such cases, the Charter provides that the top two candidates advance to a run-off at the General Election.

If approved, the new election process will be in effect beginning with the May 2006 Primary Election. Candidates elected at either the May Primary Election or November General Election will still take office in January the following year. Current provisions for the fillings of vacancies would continue to apply in the event a candidate elected in May fails to qualify and take the oath of office in January.

Submitted by:
Gary Blackmer
Portland City Auditor




No arguments FOR or AGAINST this measure were filed.
yeah, I've been concerened about this too 03.May.2004 11:55

pdx resident

I read this a couple months ago and have been trying to talk to people about it. It's sad how little information there is.

"No arguments FOR or AGAINST this measure were filed."

That doesn't make any sense and it's tragic because what this measure proposes is clearly against the principles of democracy. Does anyone know who sponsored this? Well, it's up to all of us to get the word out.

where did 26-53 come from? 03.May.2004 12:28

mj

 http://www.portlandonline.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=39746

PORTLAND CITY COUNCIL AGENDA
City Hall - 1221 SW Fourth Avenue

WEDNESDAY, 9:30 AM, FEBRUARY 4, 2004

[clip]

97 TIME CERTAIN: 9:30 AM - Refer Charter Amendment to voters at the May 18, 2004 Primary Election to provide that candidates who receive a majority of votes cast for an office at the Primary Election are elected (Resolution introduced by Auditor Blackmer)

[clip]


Text of Charter Change - Candidates Receiving Majority Vote at Primary are Elected


Portland City Council Resolution No. 36198, adopted February 4, 2004, referred the following Charter change to qualified voters at the May 18, 2004 Primary Election:

Section 3-101 Time of Taking Office and Terms.
Beginning with elections held in 2006, if any candidate for the office of Mayor, Commissioner, or Auditor receives a majority of the votes cast in a primary election for that office, that candidate shall be elected. If no candidate for such an office receives a majority of the votes cast in the primary election, the names of the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes cast shall be declared nominees and their names shall appear on the general election ballot in that same year. The nominee receiving the highest number of votes in the general election shall be elected.

Except as otherwise provided in this charter, those elected shall take office on the following January 1 and shall hold office for four years. If, at the end of four years, no successor is yet elected and qualified, the incumbent shall continue to hold office until a successor is elected and qualified.

Except as otherwise provided in this charter, the Mayor and Commissioners for positions 1 and 4 shall be elected every fourth year beginning in 2004, and the Auditor and Commissioners for positions 2 and 3 shall be elected every fourth year beginning in 2006.

====DELETED PORTION OF EXISTING======

At the general election held on each fourth year counting from the year 1960 A.D., the person elected Mayor and the two (2) persons elected Commissioners shall take office on the following January 1, and shall hold office until January 1, four (4) years later. At the general election on even numbered years between such fourth years the person elected Auditor and the two (2) persons elected Commissioners shall take office on January 1 of the following year, and they shall hold office until January 1 four (4) years later. The incumbents of the above mentioned offices shall hold their respective offices until their successors are elected and have qualified, or until their death, resignation or removal.

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A non-issue 03.May.2004 17:44

porkland

All this is doing is cleaning up the way Portland runs its municipal elections. Right now, if any of the candidates for Mayor gets 50 percent plus 1 on May 18, he/she has effectively won the election - they will be the only name on the ballot come November.

This would simply eliminate the formality of placing said candidate's name on the November ballot, allowing the city to cut the November voters guide back by a page.

The 50 percent plus one rule is why the large number of people here who dislike Francesconi but aren't digging any of the other candidates need to vote for someone, ANYONE.

Or else he gets 50 percent, and wins.