Chapter 250

 

NOTES OF DECISIONS

 

      Initiative measure filed in election cycle must satisfy all statutory and constitutional requirements and be placed on ballot in that election cycle; if proponents wish to put measure on ballot at another election, they must start initiative process over during next election cycle. Unger v. Rosenblum, 362 Or 210, 407 P3d 817 (2017)

 

LAW REVIEW CITATIONS: 27 WLR 132 (1991); 75 OLR 561 (1996)

 

      250.025

 

      See annotations under ORS 254.160 in permanent edition.

 

      250.035

 

NOTES OF DECISIONS

 

      There is no established right to gather signatures on all premises open to public and ballot measure was modified to avoid leading voters to think they are simply confirming existing state of law when state of law is in issue and part of reason for this initiative effort. Fred Meyer, Inc. v. Roberts, 308 Or 169, 777 P2d 406 (1989)

 

      Where ballot measure does not purport to make statement about public policy but simply prohibits certain activities, language of ballot title substantially complies with requirements of this section. Oregon Citizen’s Alliance v. Roberts, 308 Or 599, 783 P2d 1001 (1989)

 

      Where language in ballot title differs from language of proposed amendment but adequately explains chief purpose of measure, language substantially complies with requirements of this section. Oregon Citizen’s Alliance v. Roberts, 308 Or 599, 783 P2d 1001 (1989)

 

      Where Attorney General chose two potential secondary effects from universe of such effects and placed them in ballot title Explanation, ballot title was modified to exclude potential secondary effects. Oregon Citizen’s Alliance v. Roberts, 308 Or 599, 783 P2d 1001 (1989)

 

      Where petitioner claimed ballot title caption was inadequate because it did not make clear that voters must approve use of vehicle tax revenues for mass transit in vote separate from vote on measure itself, caption modified to read “Permits Using Local Vehicle Taxes For Transit If Voters Approve.” Feeney v. Roberts, 309 Or 324, 787 P2d 485 (1990)

 

      Where ballot title proposed by Attorney General for “Oregon Recycling Act” was challenged because it failed to state that most significant aim of measure was to ban all nonenvironmentally sound packaging but measure did not, in fact, ban all nonenvironmentally sound packaging, ballot title certified as proposed. Whitty v. Roberts, 309 Or 448, 788 P2d 452 (1990)

 

      Where diversion or redirection of monies from state General Fund is important fiscal consequence of challenged proposed initiative measure, substantial compliance with this section requires mention in ballot title summary. Nelson v. Roberts, 309 Or 499, 789 P2d 650 (1990)

 

      Where reduction in state General Fund revenues would be fiscal consequence of measure’s passage but not its chief purpose, ballot title modified to refer to increase in wine taxes and liquor prices. Aughenbaugh v. Roberts, 309 Or 510, 789 P2d 656 (1990)

 

      Ballot title was properly certified where summary simply quoted proposed measure providing constitutional right to privacy and did not attempt to predict specific effects. Kane v. Roberts, 310 Or 423, 799 P2d 639 (1990)

 

      Ballot title for proposed initiative measure stating, “Permits marijuana use to treat medical conditions” complied with this section and substituting word “restores” for “permits” was not necessary notwithstanding that former statute had permitted medical use of marijuana. Taylor v. Keisling, 312 Or 236, 819 P2d 1385 (1991)

 

      Question should build on and be consistent with Caption. Baker v. Keisling, 312 Or 385, 822 P2d 1162 (1991); Mabon v. Keisling, 317 Or 406, 856 P2d 1023 (1993)

 

      Because section 11, chapter 396, Oregon Laws 1991, requires inclusion of local property tax “tag line” in Summary segment of ballot title, court has authority to review necessity of including property tax tag line in specific Summary. Nelson v. Keisling, 313 Or 212, 830 P2d 591 (1992)

 

      Caption that emphasizes only one particular effect of measure does not reasonably identify measure’s subject. Mabon v. Keisling, 317 Or 406, 856 P2d 1023 (1993)

 

      Absent compelling reason to contrary, Caption, Question and Summary should use words used in measure. Bernard v. Keisling, 317 Or 591, 858 P2d 1309 (1993)

 

      Function of caption is to identify primary subject matter of measure, not explain possible effect of measure. deParrie v. Keisling, 318 Or 62, 862 P2d 494 (1993)

 

      Where measure has more than one apparent purpose, Question must include most significant aim or end measure is designed to bring about. deParrie v. Keisling, 318 Or 62, 862 P2d 494 (1993)

 

      Attorney General may certify identical, similar or different ballot titles for measures so long as confusion between measures is unlikely. Rooney v. Kulongoski (Elections Division #13), 322 Or 15, 902 P2d 1143 (1995)

 

      Where part of measure language is ambiguous, inclusion in measure summary of possible major effect of ambiguous language is not required. Garst v. Myers, 326 Or 186, 951 P2d 142 (1997)

 

      Where subject matter is sufficiently conveyed in caption by less than maximum number of allowed words, use of additional words to emphasize certain measure effects is improper. Carson v. Myers, 326 Or 248, 951 P2d 700 (1998)

 

      Statutory preference for parallelism in result statements is secondary to requirement that statements accurately describe result of vote. Carson v. Myers, 326 Or 248, 951 P2d 700 (1998)

 

      Prohibition on use of similar ballot titles applies only if similarity causes confusion. Carlson v. Myers, 327 Or 213, 959 P2d 31 (1998)

 

      Similar or identical ballot titles that accurately reflect extensive similarity or identity of ballot measures are not confusing. Carlson v. Myers, 327 Or 213, 959 P2d 31 (1998)

 

      Requirement that ballot title be sufficient outweighs preference for giving similar measures identical ballot titles. Dirks v. Myers, 329 Or 608, 993 P2d 808 (2000)

 

      Result statement for “yes” vote must express measure effect directly rather than relying on inference created by result statement for “no” vote. Patterson/Lowe v. Myers, 330 Or 264, 998 P2d 677 (2000)

 

      Result statement for rejection of measure that merely parallels result statement for measure approval is insufficient if other formulations of statement would provide greater information regarding result of rejection. Nesbitt v. Myers, 335 Or 424, 71 P3d 530 (2003)

 

      Where ballot measure is complex and multifaceted, incomplete listing of major aspects of measure is insufficient to identify subject matter of measure. Kain v. Myers, 336 Or 116, 79 P3d 864 (2003)

 

      “Result” of measure approval means outcome of enactment that is most significant and immediate or that carries greatest consequence for general public. Novick/Crew v. Myers, 337 Or 568, 100 P3d 1064 (2004)

 

      Ballot title that merely places doubtful or disputed term in quotation marks does not sufficiently identify source of term or indicate whether term is specially defined. Carley/Towers v. Myers, 340 Or 222, 132 P3d 651 (2006)

 

      Where terms critical to meaning of measure are undefined, failure to use quotation marks or other device to draw reader’s attention to terms renders caption or vote result statement inadequate. Morgan v. Myers, 342 Or 165, 149 P3d 1160 (2006)

 

      Where concept is key to understanding of ballot measure and word limitations permit, concept should be stated in both caption and “yes” vote result statement. Stacey v. Myers, 342 Or 455, 154 P3d 109 (2007)

 

      Where ballot measure uses term in manner other than commonly understood meaning, use of term in ballot title caption or vote result statement is misleading notwithstanding use of signals indicating term has special meaning. Tauman v. Myers, 343 Or 299, 170 P3d 556 (2007)

 

      Where adoption of measure would have effect of overriding existing constitutional provision, stating that measure amends Constitution is insufficient to describe subject matter or effect of measure. Meyer v. Myers, 343 Or 399, 171 P3d 937 (2007)

 

      Where effect of ballot measure is ambiguous, ballot title must communicate ambiguity to voters. Caruthers v. Myers, 344 Or 596, 189 P3d 1 (2008)

 

      Use of quotation marks to indicate limited effect of measure is inappropriate. Chamberlain v. Myers, 344 Or 612, 188 P3d 240 (2008)

 

      Where immediate and direct effect of provisions being referred is imposition of temporary assessments, caption must be modified to prominently and accurately explain assessments before describing programs funded by assessments. Parrish v. Rosenblum, 362 Or 96, 403 P 3d 786 (2017)

 

      Where measure being referred uses term “assessments,” ballot title’s use of term “assessments” would not confuse or mislead voters and substantially complies with statutory requirements. Parrish v. Rosenblum, 362 Or 96, 403 P 3d 786 (2017)

 

      Where legislatively enacted measure contains operative dates conditioned on whether federal agency takes action and referendum petition refers only select provisions to voters but does not refer conditional operative date, question of whether conditional operative date is to be given effect is legal question to be addressed after voters decide, and not appropriately addressed in ballot title. Parrish v. Rosenblum, 362 Or 96, 403 P 3d 786 (2017)

 

      Whether reference to specific quantity or magnitude in caption is required depends on nature of initiative measure and complexity of underlying law. Wilson/Fitz v. Rosenblum, 362 Or 226, 407 P3d 825 (2017)

 

      Parroting precise words of initiative measure in caption is not always adequate to communicate major effect of measure. Wilson/Fitz v. Rosenblum, 362 Or 226, 407 P3d 825 (2017)

 

LAW REVIEW CITATIONS: 34 WLR 143 (1998)

 

      250.044

 

NOTES OF DECISIONS

 

      Challenge to enacted law cannot be filed in combination with preelection challenge to ballot measure creating law. Sizemore v. Keisling, 164 Or App 80, 990 P2d 351 (1999), Sup Ct review denied

 

      Jurisdiction set forth in this section is exclusive only if ballot measure challenge meets listed conditions. Swett v. Bradbury, 333 Or 597, 43 P3d 1094 (2002)

 

      250.045

 

NOTES OF DECISIONS

 

Under former similar statute (ORS 254.030)

 

      Omission of phrase “That this Article is added to the Constitution to read:” from cover sheet of initiative petition did not violate full-and-correct-copy rule of this section where defect was unlikely to mislead signers of petition because ballot title and caption stated that measure proposed constitutional amendment. Barnes v. Paulus, 36 Or App 327, 588 P2d 1120 (1978)

 

      250.065

 

NOTES OF DECISIONS

 

      Secretary of State could refer question whether proposed law “embraced one subject only” to Attorney General at time prospective petition was filed with Secretary of State’s office and forwarded to Attorney General for preparation of ballot title and measure of timeliness of review begins at this initial step. State ex rel Fidanque v. Paulus, 297 Or 711, 688 P2d 1303 (1984)

 

      250.075

 

      See also annotations under ORS 254.073 in permanent edition.

 

NOTES OF DECISIONS

 

      Separate bill ordering use of ballot title prepared by legislature is not itself referred measure and is therefore subject to veto by Governor. Hamilton v. Myers, 326 Or 44, 943 P2d 214 (1997)

 

      250.085

 

      See also annotations under ORS 254.077 in permanent edition.

 

NOTES OF DECISIONS

 

      Although Supreme Court was not empowered to change proposed title merely because it was of opinion that it could write “better” title, it could correct proposed title which failed to satisfy requirements of this section and [former] ORS 254.070. Allison v. Paulus, 280 Or 197, 570 P2d 368 (1977)

 

      Duty of court is to determine whether ballot title is “concise and impartial statement of the purpose of the measure” and is neither “insufficient” nor “unfair” and is not to determine if petitioners proposed ballot title is “better” or whether court could devise a better ballot title. Priestley v. Paulus, 287 Or 141, 597 P2d 829 (1979)

 

      The statutorily imposed 75 word limit requires exercise of judgment in choosing what subjects must go unmentioned where proposed measure covers too many subjects to permit mention of all. Priestley v. Paulus, 287 Or 141, 597 P2d 829 (1979)

 

      Where same commodity is commonly referred to by differing names, use of differing names for commodity in caption, summary and description is not misleading. Miller v. Paulus, 292 Or 723, 642 P2d 665 (1982)

 

      Ballot title for proposed initiative to amend Oregon Constitution which used section numbers rather than words to describe principles at issue was “insufficient.” Hall v. Paulus, 292 Or 787, 643 P2d 343 (1982)

 

      It is not province of Attorney General to provide a title to make clear that which is not clear in measure itself. Pacific Power & Light v. Paulus, 292 Or 826, 643 P2d 871 (1982)

 

      This section provides exclusive procedure for challenge to sufficiency and fairness of ballot titles and, therefore, plaintiffs’ complaint was properly dismissed where they sought order preventing Secretary of State from placing measure on ballot because of mistake by Attorney General in preparing ballot title. Ecumenical Ministries v. Paulus, 298 Or 62, 688 P2d 1339 (1984)

 

      In any challenge to ballot title brought under this section, petitioner must show that petitioner commented under procedures set out in ORS 250.067 to effect that proposed ballot title did not substantially comply with statutory requirements. Kafoury v. Roberts, 303 Or 306, 736 P2d 178 (1987); McMurdo v. Roberts, 309 Or 318, 786 P2d 1268 (1990); Blumenauer v. Keisling, 313 Or 10, 828 P2d 1032 (1992)

 

      Where Attorney General chose two potential secondary effects from universe of such effects and placed them in ballot title Explanation, ballot title was modified to exclude potential secondary effects. Oregon Citizen’s Alliance v. Roberts, 308 Or 599, 783 P2d 1001 (1989)

 

      Where petitioners challenging ballot title had not previously submitted timely written comments on draft ballot title, petitions for review of ballot title dismissed. Ransom v. Roberts, 309 Or 461, 788 P2d 455 (1990)

 

      None of petitioners were entitled to bring proceeding challenging ballot title for initiative measure described as “Mobilehome Owners Bill of Rights” because two petitioners did not file comments and arguments with Secretary of State, Oregon Mobilehome Park Association was not “elector” as defined by ORS 250.005 and remaining petitioner did not file comments and arguments with Secretary of State in individual capacity. Brown v. Roberts, 309 Or 667, 791 P2d 488 (1990)

 

      Elector who submitted comment in capacity as representative of interest group and not in his individual capacity does not satisfy precondition of statute. Donnell v. Keisling, 313 Or 66, 828 P2d 456 (1992)

 

      Where statutorily imposed word limitation on title prevents inclusion of all subjects in complex measure, certified ballot title substantially complies with requirements of statute. Crumpton v. Keisling, 317 Or 322, 855 P2d 1107 (1993)

 

      Requirement that court certify ballot title applies only if court first reviews adequacy of title. McCoid v. Kulongoski, 321 Or 452, 900 P2d 1028 (1995)

 

      Judicial review of challenged initiative ballot titles for compliance with statutory requirements does not violate separation of powers by infringing on legislative power reserved to people. Rooney v. Kulongoski (Elections Division #13), 322 Or 15, 902 P2d 1143 (1995)

 

      Wording change sought during judicial review could vary from change sought during comment period if based on same argument as argument made during comment period. Adams v. Kulongoski, 322 Or 122, 902 P2d 1191 (1995)

 

      Failure to strictly comply with time limit for providing written notice to Secretary of State of petition for ballot title review requires dismissal of petition. Sizemore v. Myers, 327 Or 71, 957 P2d 577 (1998)

 

      Receipt of notice by Oregon Department of Administrative Services mail service does not constitute receipt of notice by Secretary of State. Mabon v. Myers, 329 Or 1, 984 P2d 278 (1999)

 

      Where person did not timely submit comments or challenge ballot title, person may not use status as intervenor in proceeding challenging ballot title to introduce new comments or challenges. Nelson v. Myers, 330 Or 92, 996 P2d 975 (2000)

 

      Where court improperly addresses issue not contained in arguments regarding ballot title, remedy is to refer ballot title to Attorney General for modification at discretion of Attorney General. Crew/Garcia v. Myers, 336 Or 635, 89 P3d 1181 (2004)

 

      Where error occurs in certification process and Attorney General timely notifies court and interested parties of proposed correction, court will consider objections to proposed corrected wording. Carley/Towers v. Myers, 340 Or 222, 132 P3d 651 (2006)

 

      Entirety of statutory process for placing proposed statewide initiative measure on ballot is relevant to determining Supreme Court’s authority to engage in ballot title review, not just specific requirements of this section in isolation. Unger v. Rosenblum, 362 Or 210, 407 P3d 817 (2017)

      Although Attorney General issued certified ballot title, fact that number of statutory prerequisites to Supreme Court’s review of legal sufficiency of ballot title had not been satisfied meant that Supreme Court lacked authority to review ballot title. Unger v. Rosenblum, 362 Or 210, 407 P3d 817 (2017)

 

LAW REVIEW CITATIONS: 75 OLR 561 (1996); 34 WLR 143 (1998)

 

      250.105

 

NOTES OF DECISIONS

 

      Use of statistical method that allowed placement of measure on ballot if probability of insufficient signatures did not exceed 80 percent failed to “verify” existence of sufficient signatures. Leo v. Keisling, 327 Or 556, 964 P2d 1023 (1998)

 

ATTY. GEN. OPINIONS: Verification of signatures on referendum petition before filing, (1980) Vol 40, p 486

 

      250.110

 

      See annotations under ORS 254.135.

 

      250.125

 

      See also annotations under ORS 254.180 in permanent edition.

 

NOTES OF DECISIONS

 

      There is no provision for enforcement of this or related section [former] ORS 254.190 by an original proceeding in the Oregon Supreme Court. Sundeleaf v. Myers, 268 Or 302, 520 P2d 438 (1974)

 

      Failure of responsible public officials to submit written certification of fiscal impact estimates on or before statutory deadline for filing violated this provision; thus, fiscal impact estimate could not be printed in election ballot nor Voters’ Pamphlet. Dennehy v. Roberts, 310 Or 394, 798 P2d 663 (1990)

 

      Failure of responsible public officials to submit written certification of fiscal impact estimates in timely manner does not justify enjoining submission of measures to voters in general election. Bassien v. Buchanan, 310 Or 402, 798 P2d 667 (1990)

 

      250.131

 

NOTES OF DECISIONS

 

      This section authorizes Supreme Court to review procedures used to prepare estimate of financial impact of statewide ballot measure, not amount or correctness of estimate. Marbet v. Keisling, 314 Or 223, 838 P2d 580 (1992)

 

      250.215

 

ATTY. GEN. OPINIONS: Verification of signatures on petition for referendum before filing, (1980) Vol 40, p 486

 

      250.305

 

ATTY. GEN. OPINIONS

 

Under former similar statute (ORS 254.140)

 

      Imposition of signature-gathering time limit by county, (1976) Vol 38, p 387

 

      250.315

 

ATTY. GEN. OPINIONS: Verification of signatures on petition for referendum before filing, (1980) Vol 40, p 486