Elections

The Office of the City Recorder is the elections officer for Oregon City. The City Recorder manages all city-related activities for local elections to the City Commission and ballot measures. 

City Commission seats have staggered end dates and are elected, in most cases, in general elections. General elections are held each November in even numbered years. 

Residents interested in running for office, you should contact the Office of the City Recorder for additional information.

Access the pages found in this section for more information.

City Charter - Elections

Chapter Vi - Elections

Section 24 Regular Elections
Regular city elections shall be held at the same times and places as biennial general state elections, in accordance with applicable state election laws. The recorder, pursuant to directions from the commission, shall give at least ten days' notice of each regular city election by posting notice thereof at a conspicuous place in the city hall and in one public place in each voting precinct of the city. The notice shall state the officers to be elected, the ballot title of each measure to be voted upon, and the time and place of the election.

Section 25 Special Elections
The commission shall provide the time, manner and means for holding any special election. The recorder shall give at least ten days' notice of each special election in the manner provided by the action of the commission ordering the election. The dates of special elections shall be subject to designation by state law.

Section 26 Regulation of Elections
Except as this charter provides otherwise and as the commission provides otherwise by ordinances relating to elections, the general laws of the state shall apply to the conduct of all city elections, recounts of the returns therefrom, and contests thereof.

Section 27 Canvass of Returns
In all elections held in conjunction with state and county elections, the state laws governing the filing of returns by the county clerk shall apply. In each special city election the returns therefrom shall be filed with the recorder on or before noon of the day following, and not later than five days after the election the commission shall meet and canvass the returns. The results of all elections shall be entered in the record of the proceedings of the commission. The entry shall state the total number of votes cast at the election, the votes cast for each person and for and against each proposition, the name of each person elected to office, the office to which he has been elected, and a reference to each measure enacted or approved. Immediately after the canvass is completed, the recorder shall make and sign a certificate of election of each person elected and deliver the certificate to him within one day after the canvass. A certificate so made and delivered shall be prima facie evidence of the truth of the statements contained in it.

Section 28 Tie Votes
In the event of a tie vote for candidates for an elective office, the successful candidate shall be determined by a public drawing of lots in a manner prescribed by the commission.

Section 29 Commencement of Terms of Office
The term of office of a person elected at a regular city election shall commence the first of the year immediately following the election.

Section 30 Oath of Office
Before entering upon the duties of his office, each officer shall take an oath or shall affirm that he will support the constitutions and laws of the United States and of Oregon and that he will faithfully perform the duties of his office.

City Code - Elections

Chapter III - Form of Government

Section 6 Where Powers Vested
Except as this charter provides otherwise, all powers of the city shall be vested in the commission.

Section 7 Commission
In addition to the Mayor, the commission shall be composed of four commissioners elected from the city at large for terms of four years each. The term of office of each member in office at the date of amendments to this charter in May, 1990 shall continue until expiration; provided, however, that the term of city commission position number 5 shall cease as of January 2, 1991. At the 1990 general biennial election, two members shall be elected, and at the 1992 general biennial election, two members shall be elected, and in each case on each fourth year thereafter, a like number shall be elected. The term of office of each commissioner shall commence on the 2nd day of January after the election of that commissioner in the preceding November, unless such date shall fall on a legal holiday, in which case such term shall commence on the following day. No person shall be elected to the office of commissioner for more than two terms of four years in any ten year period. (Adopted by voters at the City election held May 15, 1990)

Section 8 Commissioners
Each office of commissioner shall be designated by number. The city recorder shall assign a number to each of the four commission positions. The numbers so assigned shall be certified by the city recorder to the commissioner in office holding that position. One copy of the certification shall be sent to the county elections officer. In all proceedings for the nomination and election of candidates for or to the office of commissioner, every petition for nomination, declaration of candidacy, certificate of nomination or election, shall state the position number of the office to which the candidate aspires, and the candidate's name shall appear on the ballot only for the designated position. Each voter shall have the right to vote for only one candidate for each position on the commission, and the candidate for each position receiving the highest number of votes for such position shall be considered elected. No person may file for more than one position at any single election. (Adopted by voters at the City election held May 15, 1990)

Section 9 Mayor
At the 1990 general biennial election, and at every general election each four years thereafter, a mayor shall be elected from the city at large for a four year term. The mayor in office at the time this charter is amended in May 1990, shall continue in office until January 2, 1991. The mayor shall have been a resident of the city for at least twelve months preceding election to that office and shall remain a resident of the city as a condition of holding such office. No person may file for the position of mayor and city commissioner at any single election. The term of office of the mayor shall commence on the 2nd day of January after the election of that position the preceding November, unless such date shall fall on a legal holiday, in which case such term shall commence the following day.

Notwithstanding section 32 of this charter, if at any time after January 2, 1991, the office of Mayor shall become vacant before the normal expiration of that term, a special election shall be held at the next available date to fill that office for the unexpired term; provided, however, if one hundred eighty (180) days or fewer remain in such term vacated, the commission shall appoint a person to fill such vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term.

If a prospective candidate for election to the office of mayor has been elected either to the office of mayor or city commissioner for more than two terms of four years in the previous ten years, that prospective candidate shall not be eligible for election to the office of mayor. (Adopted by voters at the City election held May 15, 1990 as amended by voters at the City election held November 7, 2000.)

Section 9A Commission President
The commission shall meet at 8 o'clock P.M. on the first Wednesday in January after the first general election under this charter and shall be called to order by the mayor. The commission, including the mayor, shall then proceed to elect a commission president by ballot from their number who shall hold office for the term of one year and until a successor shall be elected and qualified. The commission president shall perform the duties of mayor in the absence of that officer. In the absence of the mayor from the city or the inability of the mayor to act, the president of the commission shall have and exercise the power to perform all duties of the mayor. (Adopted by voters at the City election held May 15, 1990)

Section 10 Nominations
A qualified elector who has resided in the city during the 12 months immediately preceding an election may be nominated for an elective city office to be filled at the election. The nomination shall be by a petition that specifies the office sought and shall be in a form prescribed by the commission. The petition shall be signed by not fewer than 50 electors. No elector shall sign more than one petition for each office to be filled at the election. If he does so, his signature shall be valid only on the first sufficient petition filed for the office. The signatures to a nomination petition need not all be appended to one paper, but to each separate paper of the petition shall be attached an affidavit of the circulator thereof, indicating the number of signers of the paper and stating that each signature appended thereto was made in his presence and is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be. Opposite each signature shall be stated the signer's place of residence, identified by its street and number or other sufficient designation. All nomination papers comprising a petition shall be assembled and filed with the recorder as one instrument not earlier than 120 nor later than 61 days before the election. The recorder shall make a record of the exact time at which each petition is filed and shall take and preserve the name and address of the person by whom it is filed. If the petition is not signed by the required number of qualified electors, the recorder shall notify the candidate and the person who filed the petition within five days after the filing. If the petition is insufficient in any other particular, the recorder shall return it immediately to the person who filed it, certifying in writing wherein the petition is insufficient. The deficient petition may be amended and filed again as a new petition, or a substitute petition for the same candidate may be filed, within the regular time for filing nomination petitions. The recorder shall notify an eligible person of his nomination, and that person shall file with the recorder his written acceptance of nomination, in such form as the commission may require, within five days of notification of nomination. Upon receipt of the acceptance of nomination, the recorder shall cause the nominee's name to be printed on the ballots. The petition of nomination for a successful candidate at an election shall be preserved in the office of the recorder until the term of office for which the candidate is elected expires. In lieu of nomination by petition, an elector may file for office by payment of a $50 filing fee or such greater fee as the commission may fix.

Section 11 Manager, Judge & Other Officers
Additional officers of the city shall be a city manager and municipal judge, each of whom the commission shall appoint, and such other officers as the commission deems necessary. The commission may combine any two or more appointive offices, except the office of city manager and municipal judge. In no such combination shall the municipal judge be subject in his judicial functions to supervision by any other office.

Section 12 Salaries
The compensation for the services of each city officer and employee shall be the amount fixed by the commission. A commissioner shall not receive a salary, but may be reimbursed for expenses upon prior authorization of the commission.

Section 13 Qualifications of Officers
No person shall be eligible for an elective office of the city unless at the time of his election he is a qualified elector within the meaning of the state constitution and has resided in the city during the twelve months immediately preceding the election. The commission shall be the final judge of the foregoing qualifications and election of its own members.