Oregon Deceased Candidate Procedure Measure 31 (2004)
Elections and Campaigns
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- Election results from Oregon Blue Book website, accessed December 16, 2013
Text of measure
The official ballot title of Measure 31 was:
Authorizes Law Permitting Postponement Of Election For Particular Public Office When Nominee For Office Dies
The official ballot summary of Measure 34 was:
Amends constitution. Current law does not provide for the enactment of a law postponing an election for a particular public offices when a nominee for that office dies. Measure authorizes the legislature to enact a law permitting postponement of an election for a particular public office when a candidate nominated for that office dies; in that circumstance, the legislature may enact a law: (1) allowing the postponement of the regularly scheduled election for the office in question; (2) allowing the office in question to be filled at a subsequent election; and (3) prohibiting the votes cast for candidates at the regularly scheduled election for the office in question from being considered. Measure does not affect election process for other candidates or measures on the ballot.
The official statement of estimated financial impact was:
There is no financial effect on state or local government expenditures or revenues.
The full text of the constitutional changes proposed by Measure 34:
Be It Resolved by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon:
PARAGRAPH 1. The Constitution of the State of Oregon is amended by creating a new section 24 to be added to and made a part of Article II, such section to read:
SECTION 24. When any vacancy occurs in the nomination of a candidate for elective public office in this state, and the vacancy is due to the death of the candidate, the Legislative Assembly may provide by law that:
(1) The regularly scheduled election for that public office may be postponed;
(2) The public office may be filled at a subsequent election; and
(3) Votes cast for candidates for the public office at the regularly scheduled election may not be considered.
PARAGRAPH 2. The amendment proposed by this resolution shall be submitted to the people for their approval or rejection at the next regular general election held throughout this state.
A couple of high profile candidate deaths in other states, including Sen. Mel Carnahan of Missouri in 2000 and Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota in 2002, prompted several Oregon legislators to wonder what would happen in Oregon if a candidate were to die. However, Ballot measure 31 applied only to state offices, not to federal offices.
The measure allowed the legislature to pass statutes addressing the problems that occur if a candidate for office dies after vote-by-mail ballots are sent out and before the general election. Among other things, ballot measure 31 allowed the postponement of an election for a particular office due to the death of a candidate. The replacement election was designed to be held in January.