Voters' Pamphlet

ORS 251.215
Preparation and filing of explanatory statement of measure


Not later than the 99th day before a special election held on the date of a primary election or any general election at which any state measure is to be submitted to the people, the committee appointed under ORS 251.205 (Appointment of committee to draft explanatory statement of measure proposed by initiative or referendum) shall prepare and electronically file with the Secretary of State, an impartial, simple and understandable statement explaining the measure. The statement shall not exceed 500 words.


Not later than the 95th day before the election, the Secretary of State shall hold a hearing in Salem upon reasonable statewide notice to receive suggested changes or other information relating to any explanatory statement. At the hearing any person may submit suggested changes or other information orally or in writing. Written suggestions or other information also may be submitted at any time before the hearing.


The committee for each measure shall consider suggestions and any other information submitted under subsection (2) of this section, and may file a revised statement with the Secretary of State not later than the 90th day before the election.


The original statement and any revised statement must be approved by at least three members of the committee. If a member does not concur, the statement shall show only that the member dissents.


For purposes of this section, “measure” includes an initiative petition relating to a state measure that has been filed with the Secretary of State for the purpose of verifying signatures under ORS 250.105 (Petition filing requirements). The requirements of this section shall not apply to the petition if the secretary determines that the petition contains less than the required number of signatures of electors. [Formerly 254.222; 1991 c.719 §49; 1993 c.493 §20; 1993 c.811 §14; 1995 c.712 §42; 2001 c.965 §10; 2011 c.646 §5]

(formerly 254.222)

Notes of Decisions

Where public's interest in having presented to the voters as soon as possible policy matters of great and immediate public interest outweighs public's interest in affording its individual members their full statutory right to participate in the presentation of issues to the public through the voters' pamphlet, the court will not strike from the ballot proposed constitutional amendments which do not meet the time schedule provisions of this and related section [former] ORS 254.210. Sundeleaf v. Myers, 268 Or 302, 520 P2d 438 (1974)

Under this section, certification of initiative explanatory statement is required to be in writing. State ex rel Anderson v. Paulus, 283 Or 241, 583 P2d 531 (1978)

This section does not require Secretary of State to defend voters' pamphlet explanation prepared by citizens' committee. Teledyne Industries v. Paulus, 297 Or 665, 687 P2d 1077 (1984)

Explanatory statement that selects some noneffects on particular group is not impartial. Sollis v. Hand, 310 Or 251, 796 P2d 1188 (1990)

Official explanatory statement for ballot measure was modified when explanatory statement listed speculative effects and misleading information. Homuth v. Keisling, 314 Or 214, 837 P2d 532 (1992)

Explanation of ballot measure may include explanation of ballot measure effects. Sizemore v. Myers, 327 Or 456, 964 P2d 255 (1998)

Use of boldfaced type to highlight portion of statement explaining ballot measure effects but not portion explaining ballot measure text was potentially misleading and made statement insufficient. Sizemore v. Myers, 327 Or 456, 964 P2d 255 (1998)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Explanatory statements as not constitutionally required, (1972) Vol 36, p 140

Law Review Citations

74 OLR 341 (1995)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021