ORS 251.055¹
Type of material to be excluded from pamphlet
  • liability for libel
  • procedure if material excluded
  • rules

(1) The Secretary of State shall reject any statement, argument or other matter offered for filing and printing in a voters’ pamphlet which:

(a) Contains any obscene, profane or defamatory language;

(b) Incites or advocates hatred, abuse or violence toward any person or group; or

(c) Contains any language which may not legally be circulated through the mails.

(2) Nothing in this chapter shall make the author of any statement or argument exempt from any civil or criminal action because of any defamatory statements offered for printing or contained in the voters’ pamphlet. The persons writing, signing or offering a statement or argument for filing shall be deemed its authors and publishers.

(3) The Secretary of State by rule shall establish a procedure to notify a person who offered a statement, argument or other matter that was rejected pursuant to this section. Subject to voters’ pamphlet deadlines, the procedure shall require the Secretary of State to:

(a) Make reasonable attempts to notify the person of the rejection; and

(b) Allow the person, if notified pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection, to revise the statement so that it does not violate the provisions of this section. [Formerly 255.040; 1993 c.351 §1]

See also annota­tions under ORS 255.040 in permanent edi­tion.

Notes of Decisions

Secretary of State is proper party named in peti­tion to challenge voters’ pamphlet explana­tion; her duties are primarily ministerial, however, she may assume adversarial role if she feels such role is mandated under this sec­tion. Teledyne Industries v. Paulus, 297 Or 665, 687 P2d 1077 (1984)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 251—Voters’ Pamphlet, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors251.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2019, Chapter 251, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano251.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
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. Currency Information