Information on Initiative, Referendum and Recall Petitions

Initiative or Referendum Petitions

A local initiative or referendum may be submitted to be included on a regularly scheduled election.

The required number on initiative and referendum signatures for County, Metro or Special District is based on a percentage of votes cast for Governor. Please see the petition signature requierements for Multnomah County initiative or referendum petitions below. 

For City Initiative or referendum signature requirements, please contact the city elections clerk.

Petition Procedures for filing a Multnomah County Initiative or Referendum

Multnomah County Initiative and Referendum Petition Signature Requirements
  Votes for Governor Initiative Referendum
Multnomah County 280,850    
Charter amendment (Initiative)   22,468 (8%)  
 Ordinance (Initiative)   16,851 (6%)  
Referendum     11,234 (4%)

Petition Signature Requirements for other Districts*

  • Metro - 555,603 - total ballots cast for Governor in Metro District (Nov 2010)
    • Initiative charter ammendment - 8% of ballots cast
    • Initiative legislative amendement - 6% of ballots cast
    • Referendum - 4% of ballots cast
  • TriMet - 560,010 - total ballots cast for Governor in TriMet District
    • Initiative petition - 6% of ballots cast
    • Referendum petiton - 4% of ballots cast

* For other special district numbers not listed, please contact Multnomah County Elections. For City initiative and referendum petition numbers, please contact the city elections clerk.

 Initiative & Referendum Petition Log

Recall Petitions

A public officer in an elective office may be recalled, whether elected or appointed. This is done by filing a prospective recall petition with the appropriate Elections official. City recall petitions are filed with the City Elections official. County, Metro and other Special District recall petitions located in Multnomah County are filed with Multnomah County Elections.

The prospective petition may be filed if the public office holder has served at least six months of the current term of office.  The signature requirement is 15% of the total number of votes cast in the public officer’s electoral district for all candidates for Governor at the last election at which a candidate for Governor was elected to a full term. The Chief Petitioner has 90 days from filing the prospective to collect and turn in those signatures.

Review the Campaign Finance Manual for recall reporting requirements.

Multnomah County Recall Petition Signature Requirements
  Votes for Governor Recall (15%)
Chair 280,850 42,128
Commissioner Dist. 1 88,364 13,255
Commissioner Dist. 2 73,702 11,056
Commissioner Dist. 3 61,857 9,279
Commissioner Dist. 4 56,525 8,479
Sheriff 280,850 42,128
Auditor 280,850 42,128


State Manuals - All of the manuals published by the Elections Division are available online.