This initiative was circulated in 1997 and 1998, but because of our limited resources we failed to get enough signatures to qualify it for the ballot. Read it over and think how much different things would be if it had been adopted:
Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:
Article II, Section 16, of the current Oregon Constitution is hereby repealed and replaced by the following new Section 16:
Section 16. Election by majority, with 'consensus' primary process. In order to provide an opportunity for the voters to express their approval or lack thereof for each available candidate and to develop a consensus on who should be their public servants, and in order to insure that no public servant is elected by a minority, the process for filling elective public offices in the State of Oregon shall be as follows:
(1) In the primary election all candidates filed for elective public office shall be listed on a consolidated election ballot for the voters of the district in which they shall be elected. The party affiliation or lack thereof shall be indicated beside each candidate's name. Each line containing a candidate's name shall be preceded by a "Yes" box and a "No" box, so each voter may express his or her approval or lack thereof for each candidate. In addition to voting for or against those listed on the ballot, provision shall be made on the primary election ballot for each voter to write in one personal choice for each open office, and such write-in votes shall be considered "Yes" votes.
(2) All candidates on the primary election ballot receiving more "Yes" votes than 50% of the ballots cast in that district shall qualify to have their names entered on the general election ballot. All candidates on the primary election ballot receiving more "No" votes than 50% of the ballots cast in that district shall be barred from the office sought for that term of office. If no candidate in the primary shall qualify for the general election ballot for a particular office, any person(s) otherwise qualified for that particular office may file as candidate(s) for the general election by nominating petition. The minimum number of signatures required for placement on the general election ballot by nominating petition shall be equal to one-half of one percent of the total number of registered voters in the district at the last primary election date. No filing fee shall be charged for such placement on that ballot. Write-in candidates from the primary election shall not be barred from filing by nominating petition as candidates for the general election. Provision shall be made on the general election ballot for writing in one personal choice by each individual voter for each open office.
(3) A candidate having qualified in the primary for the general election ballot shall be declared winner upon receiving a plurality of the votes cast in the general election for a given office, but any candidate not having qualified in the primary for the general election ballot shall be declared winner only upon receiving a simple majority of votes cast in the general election for a given office. If no general election candidate for a given office shall satisfy either of the aforementioned requirements to be declared winner, then the two candidates receiving the highest numbers of votes shall be listed on a run-off election ballot twenty-eight days following the general election. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes in that run-off election shall be declared winner of the office sought. If no primary election candidate shall qualify for the general election ballot, and no candidate shall file for the general election ballot, and no write-in candidate shall emerge in the general election, the open office shall be filled in the same manner as provided by law for a vacancy due to the death, resignation or recall of an office holder, subject to the restrictions of subsection (2) above.
(4) Subsequent to the adoption of the measure establishing this wording for Article II, Section 16, the above subsections (1), (2) and (3) shall be referred by the Legislative Assembly to the voters for their permanent approval at a special election falling not less than four months, and not more than seven months, after the first primary and general elections have been conducted under the authority of this wording. If said subsections (1), (2) and (3) are not approved by the voters of the State of Oregon at that special election, Article II, Section 16 shall be restored to its prior wording. If said subsections (1), (2) and (3) are approved by the voters at that special election, subsection (4) of Article II, Section 16 shall be deleted.
this is the ballot title and summary that the State of Oregon prepared for our initiative:
AMENDS CONSTITUTION: REQUIRES SINGLE PRIMARY ELECTION BALLOT, CHANGES ELECTION QUALIFICATIONS
RESULTS OF "YES" VOTE: "Yes" vote requires single primary election ballot with 50 percent "yes" vote to qualify candidates.
RESULTS OF "NO" VOTE: "No" vote retains present separate primary ballots for each major political party.
SUMMARY: Amends Constitution. Existing law requires separate primary ballot for each major political party. Measure requires single primary ballot permitting vote for or against candidate regardless of political party. Candidates receiving over 50 percent "Yes" votes appear on general election ballot and win general election with plurality. Office barred to primary candidate with more than 50 percent "No" votes. Nominations by petition if no candidate qualifies in primary. Candidates not qualifying in primary elected with simple majority. Provides for write-in candidates and runoff elections.
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