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The City of Portland, Oregon

Auditor Mary Hull Caballero

Promoting open and accountable government

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I contact my elected officials?

Follow the links below for contact information for City, County, State & Federal elected officials:
City Elected Officials
Federal, State & Other Local Elected Officials
link to Multnomah County Elections website

How do I request an absentee ballot?

Absentee ballots are available 45 days before an election.  Any registered voter who wishes to have their ballot mailed to an address other than their residence may request an absentee ballot from your County Elections Office:

How many registered voters are in the City of Portland?

In Oregon, Voter Registration is handled by the County Elections Officers.
The majority of Portland is located in Multnomah County, with a small number of voters in Clackamas & Washington Counties.  For up to date voter registration numbers, see the official abstract of votes in the most recent election, or contact the County Elections Offices.
At the November 5, 2019 November Special Election, there were 431,522 registered City of Portland voters. 

How does Vote by Mail work?

Vote by mail (VBM) packets are mailed to all eligible voters by your County Elections Office.
Questions about your ballot (where to get a ballot, how to get a replacement ballot, where to drop off your ballot, what to do if you forget to sign your ballot, etc...) are best answered by your County Elections Office:
For more general information regarding the vote by mail process, read the Secretary of State's Vote By Mail Guide. (pdf format)
and Voting in Oregon web page. In addition, Multnomah County Elections has educational resources for the vote by mail process. 

How do I register to vote?

You can register to vote if you can answer yes to the following questions:


→ Are you a resident of Oregon?

→ Are you a US citizen?

→ Are you at least 16 years old?




You may register to vote online or by downloading the registration form and sending it to your County Elections office. You may also register at your County Elections Office, the office of the Secretary of State, or any DMV office.


Completed forms should be mailed to your County Elections Office. You may also register to vote in person at your County Elections Office.

For answers to your Frequently Asked Questions, please visit State of Oregon's website for Elections Questions and Answers.  

What is my City Council District?

The Portland City Council is not separated into districts.  All City Elected Officials are elected at large.


You can read more about the City's Government Structure on the Council Clerk's website.


If you have a question or concern related to a particular City Bureau, you may wish to contact the Commissioner in Charge of that particular agency. There is a listing of the Elected Officials Portfolios and Contact Information the City Clerk's site.


How do I find out who contributed to a particular candidate?

All Political Committees and candidate committees active in City elections are required to file detailed campaign finance records under state law.

State Campaign Finance Reporting (ORESTAR)

Effective January 1, 2007, statements of organization as well as contributions and expenditures are filed with the Oregon Secretary of   State.  Transactions are filed on ORESTAR, the Secretary of State's online searchable campaign finance reporting system.


State Campaign Finance Regulations

For information on ORESTAR and state campaign finance regulations, see the Secretary of State's latest Campaign Finance Manual.


C&E Reports Filed Through 2006

Prior to 2007, the City Elections Office was the filing officer for Contribution and Expenditure Reports for City Candidates. The retention schedule for   City Contribution and Expenditure Reports from 2006 and prior has expired; however, the City elections may have select documents available.   Please contact the Elections Officer for more information. 

Campaign Finance Law - ORS Chapter 260 (via the Oregon State Legislature Website)


How do I start an initiative petition?

Residents are guaranteed the right to initiative & referendum petition by the Oregon Constitution & City Charter.

You may try to enact a law yourself through through the Initiative Petition process.  Detailed information on how to start an initiative petition is available on the City Elections site .

If you are unhappy with a particular City Council decision, you may refer non-emergency ordinances to the voters through the Referendum Petition process.  Detailed information on how to start a referendum petition is available on the City Elections site .

In many cases, your needs may be met simply by meeting with your City Council Members or testifying before Council. Contact information for City Council members is available on the City's website .  City Council members may introduce legislation before the City Council without going to the voters.  The only exception to this is amendments to the City Charter which must go to the voters in all cases.