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The City of Portland, Oregon

Open and Accountable Elections

Phone: 503-823-4345

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Special Elections


Program Calendar:

  • January 8, 2020 - May 19, 2020 if there is no un-off, or August 11, 2020 - Special Election Cycle (candidates must abide by OAE Code)
  • January 8, 2020 - April 28, 2020 - Special Nominating Election Matching Period begins (matchable contributions collected will begin being matched)
  • February 7, 2020 - Deadline to file Notice of Intent form only (attachments due within 14 days of filing Notice of Intent)
  • March 24, 2020 - Deadline to apply for certification
  • April 28, 2020 - Special Nominating Election Matching period ends (matchable contributions collected won't be matched for the special nominating election)
  • April 29, 2020 - Special Run-off Election Matching Period begins (matchable contributions collected starting on this day will be matched only if the candidate qualifies for the special run-off election)
  • May 19, 2020 - Special Nominating Election Day
  • July 3, 2020 - Deadline to return unspent public funds (for candidates not in a special run-off election)
  • July 21, 2020 - Special Nominating Election Period ends (any matchable contributions collected after this date won't be matched)
  • August 11, 2020 - Special Run-off Election Day
  • September 25, 2020 - Deadline to return unspent public funds

If you have questions, please call 503.823.4345 or email

Please note: If you want to use the Open & Accountable Elections program in the 2020 Special Election, it is not too early to take the mandatory training and file your Notice of Intent. You must do both before beginning to raise your 250 qualifying contributions, so sooner is better than later. We can offer confidential trainings if you are not ready to announce yet; call 503.823.4345 to schedule.  The Notice of Intent can be found in the "For Campaigns" section of this website, along with the Candidate Guide, which we highly recommend prospective candidates read.



What happens if there is a special election?

If a special election is called, candidates can expect to use the Open & Accountable Elections program in exactly the same way as for a regularly scheduled election, but with two key differences: a different budget for matching funds and a different calendar of program dates and deadlines.

How OAE is the same in a special election and a regularly scheduled election, some examples:

  • The number of and amount in qualifying contributions a candidate must collect to get certified
  • Total fundraising limits
  • Caps in how much any candidate can receive in matching funds
  • Contribution limits and prohibitions
  • Expenditure restrictions and prohibitions

How OAE is different in a special election than a regularly scheduled election:

(1)     Dates and deadlines


See program deadlines above for the 2020 Special Election.

(2)     Matching funds budget 

The Open & Accountable Elections program’s annual appropriation did not take into account the cost of special elections, given how unpredictable they are. If a special election is called, the OAE Director will request additional funding so as to ensure that candidates participating in OAE in both the regularly scheduled election and the special election can get the full 6-to-1 match rate. If the City Council fully or partially denies the request, the Director will announce how whether it can maintain a 6-to-1 match rate OR how much the match rate must be reduced in either or both the regularly scheduled or special elections.