Oregon’s Ballot Measure Breakdown
With Election Day just weeks away, now is the perfect time to start reading up on the measures you’ll see on the ballot this fall shaping the future of our state.
Common Cause Oregon is dedicated to building a democracy that works for all Oregonians. For the 2022 midterm election, we’ve so far endorsed three ballot measures that we believe will strengthen our democracy. Featured below are the measures we support, what they do, and why they matter to you. Additionally, we highlight other measures we’ve yet to endorse that are worthy of your further research.
Common Cause Oregon recommends your support on these:
YES ON 112: Slavery Exception
Official ballot title: Amends Constitution – Removes language allowing slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for crime.
What it does: Measure 112 eliminates a dehumanizing loophole in our state’s constitution that currently allows prisons to serve as a legal continuation of slavery.
Why we support it: Oregonians deserve a democracy based on the ideal of equal justice for all – not slavery. Our state constitution must reflect our values, but the existing constitutional language that makes exceptions for slavery and involuntary servitude is far out of touch with the values held by Oregonians today. A bipartisan supermajority of legislators has referred this measure to voters.
YES ON 113: Unexcused Absences
Official ballot title: Amends Constitution – Legislators with ten unexcused absences from floor sessions are disqualified from holding the next term of office.
What it does: Measure 113 creates consequences for legislators who obstruct the legislative process through repeated absenteeism. Under Measure 113, representatives with 10 or more unexcused no-shows become disqualified from holding office in the next term.
Why we support it: Voters are best served by a legislative process that is deliberative and collaborative, not one gripped by complete gridlock. Common Cause has a principled objection to obstructive tactics used to prevent debate, discussion, and legislation. Measure 113 encourages legislators with minority viewpoints to show up and engage in the process to debate, negotiate, and persuade their colleagues on the merits of their arguments, rather than block action through repeated absences.
YES ON 26-228: Portland Charter Amendment
Official ballot title: Amends Charter – Changes Portland’s government structure and process for electing city officials.
What it does: To create more inclusive and equitable representation, Measure 26-228 increases Portland City Council’s size to 12 seats, elected by Instant Runoff Ranked Choice Voting in multi-member districts. This measure also changes Portland City Council’s role from managing bureaus to governing and representing constituents, and shifts bureau management to a professional City Manager position overseen by the Mayor.
Why we support it: Government should be reflective of and responsive to all of us, but many Portlanders do not feel seen or heard by their elected leaders. For over a century, Portland’s city government has been challenged to include and represent all segments of its population and remains the only major U.S. city still using an outdated commission system, leading to less efficient city management. This proposal is the product of 18 months of research, public input, and deliberation, and includes several interdependent components with track records of creating a more reflective, representative, and effective democracy.
Common Cause Oregon recommends your independent research on:
As we continue to analyze local measures, we encourage Multnomah County voters to learn about these seven Multnomah County charter amendment measures:
- Amends charter: annual jail inspections by commissioners with volunteers, reporting
- Amends charter: replaces gender binary pronouns with gender-neutral terms
- Amends charter: establishes ombudsperson function in county auditor’s office
- Amends charter: instant runoff ranked choice voting in county elections
- Amends charter: voting rights to be extended as legally allowed
- Amends Charter Review Committee qualifications, appointment, length; requires public engagement
- Amends charter: auditor unrestricted access to information, requires “right-to-audit” clause