Frequently Asked Questions
Table of Contents(Printable Version)
- How do I contact my elected officials?
- How do I request an absentee ballot?
- How many registered voters are in the City of Portland?
- How does Vote by Mail work?
- How do I register to vote?
- What is my City Council District?
- How do I find out who contributed to a particular candidate?
- How do I start an initiative petition?
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 17 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.
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 Informationon the City Clerk's site.
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)
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.