Article II, Section 18 of the Oregon Constitution provides that “every public officer in Oregon is subject, as herein provided, to recall by the electors of the state or of the electoral district from which the public officer is elected.”
City Code Section 2.08.170 provides that procedures and forms for a recall petition and election shall be according to state law.
The Secretary of State's 2012 Recall Manual is available online via the Secretary of State's web site or from the City Elections Officer.
When Officials are Subject to Recall
An elected City official must serve at least six months of the current term of office before being subject to recall.
Required Number of Signatures
Per ORS 249.870, the number of Portland registered voters' signatures required to place a recall on the ballot is 15% of the total number of votes cast in the City for all candidates for Governor at the last gubernatorial general election. Until 2014, this number is 34,921 (15% of the 232,806 City voters who cast votes for Governor in November 2010).
Filing a Prospective Recall Petition
The Petition for Recall (SEL 350) filing form includes space for a “statement of reasons for demanding recall”, not to exceed 200 words.
Deadline for Petition Signature Submission
After the City Elections Officer approves signature sheets, per ORS 249.875, the chief petitioner has 90 calendar days from the prospective petition filing date to collect at least 34,921 valid signatures from Portland registered voters.
Verification of Signatures
After the signatures are submitted, the City Elections Officer has 10 days to certify the signature verification results.
Five-Day Resignation Period
If, after verification, at least 34,921 signatures are determined to be valid, there is a five-day resignation period. During this period, the elected official that is the subject of the recall petition may either: (a) resign; or (b) submit a “statement of justification of the public officer’s course in office”, not to exceed 200 words.
If the official does not resign, a recall election is held no later than 35 days after the end of the five-day resignation period.
The recall ballot contains:
• The "statement of reasons for demanding recall" as submitted by the petitioner in the prospective petition;
• The "statement of justification" as submitted by the elected official;
• A Question: “Do you vote to recall _______ from the office of _______?,” with the name of the person against whom a recall petition has been filed printed in the first blank space and the public office held by the person printed in the second blank space.
Election Results, Vacancy in Office
If the recall election is successful, a vacancy in office occurs immediately after the City Elections Officer receives the official abstract of votes from Multnomah County Elections. The County has 20 days by statute to deliver the abstract to the City Elections Officer.