2017 ORS 250.048¹
Registration and training for paid petition circulators
  • requirements
  • effect of failure to register
  • criminal records check
  • registration of organizations that pay petition circulators
  • rules

(1) A person may not pay money or other valuable consideration to another person for obtaining signatures of electors on a state initiative, referendum or recall petition or a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated, and a person may not receive money or other valuable consideration for obtaining signatures of electors on a state initiative, referendum or recall petition or a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated, unless the person obtaining the signatures:

(a) Registers with the Secretary of State in the manner prescribed by this section and by rule of the secretary; and

(b) Completes the training program prescribed by rule of the secretary.

(2) A person may apply to the secretary for a registration required under subsection (1) of this section. The application shall include:

(a) The full name and any assumed name of the applicant;

(b) The residential street address of the applicant;

(c) An example of the signature of the applicant;

(d) A list of the prospective petitions on which the applicant will gather signatures;

(e) A list of the initiative, referendum and recall petitions on which the applicant will gather signatures;

(f) If the applicant has been convicted for a criminal offense involving fraud, forgery or identification theft, information relating to the circumstances of the conviction as required by the secretary;

(g) A statement signed by the applicant acknowledging that the applicant has read and understands Oregon law applicable to the gathering of signatures on state initiative, referendum and recall petitions and prospective petitions for state measures to be initiated, as the law is summarized in the training program established by the Secretary of State;

(h) Evidence indicating that the applicant has completed the training required by the secretary by rule;

(i) A photograph of the applicant;

(j) A statement signed by a chief petitioner of each petition or prospective petition, or a person designated by a chief petitioner under this paragraph, upon which the applicant will gather signatures acknowledging that the chief petitioner is liable for violations of law or rule committed by the person obtaining signatures as provided in ORS 260.561 (Liability of certain chief petitioners for violations committed by persons obtaining signatures on petition). A chief petitioner may designate a person to sign a statement described in this paragraph on behalf of the chief petitioner; and

(k) A copy of the applicant’s criminal records check.

(3)(a) If an applicant complies with subsection (2) of this section, not later than five business days after the applicant applies, the secretary shall register the applicant and assign the applicant a registration number.

(b) A person who is registered to obtain signatures on a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated need not reapply for a registration under this section in order to obtain signatures on a state initiative, referendum or recall petition, except that the person shall submit a list of the initiative, referendum and recall petitions on which the person will gather signatures.

(c) A registration to obtain signatures on a state initiative petition or a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated is valid until the date that is four months before the next general election.

(d) A registration to obtain signatures on a referendum or recall petition is valid until the date the petition is filed for signature verification.

(4) A person may not apply for registration under this section if, during the five-year period prior to the date of application, the person:

(a) Has been convicted for a criminal offense involving fraud, forgery or identification theft in any state;

(b) Has had a civil penalty imposed under ORS 260.995 (Civil penalties) for a violation of this section, ORS 260.262 (Accounts of chief petitioners), 260.555 (Prohibitions relating to circulation, filing or certification of initiative, referendum or recall petition), 260.558 (Payment for signing or not signing initiative, referendum or recall petition), 260.575 (Use of threats and intimidation for purpose of extorting money), 260.695 (Prohibitions relating to voting) (1) or 260.715 (Prohibited conduct) (1) or Article IV, section 1b, of the Oregon Constitution; or

(c) Has had a civil or criminal penalty imposed for violation of a statute subject to a criminal penalty under ORS 260.993 (Criminal penalties).

(5)(a) Upon request of the secretary, the Department of State Police shall furnish to the secretary any information that the department may have in its possession regarding an applicant, including but not limited to the Law Enforcement Data System established in ORS 181A.280 (Law Enforcement Data System established), other computerized information and any other information to which the department may have access. Information obtained under this paragraph may be used to assist in determining the identity of an applicant or whether an applicant has been convicted of a criminal offense described in subsection (4) of this section.

(b) For purposes of receiving the information described in paragraph (a) of this subsection, the office of the Secretary of State is a “criminal justice agency” under ORS 181A.010 (Definitions for ORS 181A.010 to 181A.350) to 181A.350 (Eligibility of towing business to be placed on department list) and the rules adopted under ORS 181A.230 (Establishment of procedures for access to criminal record information).

(c) Upon submitting an application for registration described in subsection (2) of this section, an applicant is deemed to have given the consent necessary for purposes of this subsection.

(6)(a) A chief petitioner shall ensure that a criminal records check is conducted for each applicant seeking registration under this section to determine whether the applicant has been convicted of any of the crimes described in subsection (4)(a) of this section, or was subject to any of the penalties described in subsection (4)(b) and (c) of this section.

(b) The secretary by rule shall prescribe the scope of the criminal records check to be performed pursuant to this subsection. The applicant’s criminal records check may be conducted by either the chief petitioner or the applicant.

(c) An applicant seeking registration under this section is required to have only one criminal records check conducted for each period beginning the day the applicant registers with the Secretary of State under this section and ending four months before the next general election.

(7) If a person receives money or other valuable consideration for obtaining signatures of electors on a state initiative, referendum or recall petition or a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated and the person was not registered as required under this section at the time the signatures were obtained, the secretary may not include any signatures obtained by the person in a count under ORS 250.045 (Prospective petition) (3) or 250.105 (Petition filing requirements) or ORS chapter 249 for purposes of determining whether the petition or prospective petition contains the required number of signatures of electors.

(8) A person registered under this section shall carry evidence of registration with the person while the person is obtaining signatures on a state initiative, referendum or recall petition or a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated. The evidence of registration shall contain the photograph and registration number of the person. The secretary by rule shall designate the form of the evidence of registration.

(9) A photograph of an applicant submitted under subsection (2) of this section shall:

(a) Be a conventional photograph with a plain background;

(b) Show the face or the face, neck and shoulders of the applicant; and

(c) Be prepared and processed for printing as prescribed by the secretary.

(10) A person registered under this section may not obtain signatures on a petition or prospective petition for which the person is being paid and, at the same time, obtain signatures on a petition or prospective petition for which the person is not being paid. The secretary may not include any signatures obtained in violation of this subsection in a count under ORS 250.045 (Prospective petition) (3) or 250.105 (Petition filing requirements) or ORS chapter 249 for purposes of determining whether a state initiative, referendum or recall petition or a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated contains the required number of signatures of electors.

(11) An organization or entity that pays money or other valuable consideration to a person for obtaining signatures of electors on a state initiative, referendum or recall petition or a prospective petition for a state measure to be initiated shall register with the Secretary of State by:

(a) Submitting the name and address of the organization or entity;

(b) Selecting one or more individuals who represent the organization or entity to complete the training program prescribed in subsection (1) of this section; and

(c) Submitting a statement signed by each individual selected:

(A) Acknowledging that the individual has read and understands Oregon law applicable to the gathering of signatures on state initiative, referendum and recall petitions and prospective petitions for state measures to be initiated, as the law is summarized in the training program established by the secretary; and

(B) Affirming that the organization or entity operates in compliance with the law.

(12) The secretary shall adopt rules necessary to implement this section, including rules:

(a) Establishing procedures for registering persons or organizations or entities as described in this section; and

(b) Establishing a training program prescribed in subsection (1) of this section. [2007 c.848 §2; 2009 c.533 §2; 2009 c.720 §6; 2010 c.9 §4; 2011 c.547 §42; 2013 c.519 §1; 2013 c.759 §1; 2014 c.67 §1; 2014 c.112 §1]

Chapter 250

Law Review Cita­tions

27 WLR 132 (1991); 75 OLR 561 (1996)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 250—Initiative and Referendum, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors250.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 250, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano250.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.